March Pastor's Pen
When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. Acts 2:1-2 CSB
I didn’t sleep well last night. I fell asleep without a problem. Staying asleep was the challenge. Finally, at 3:00 a.m., I got out of bed and sat at our dining room table, listening to the wind roar over our mountain retreat.
At daybreak, when I went outside with our dogs, our lawn was littered with fallen branches. The lighted tree on our deck was resting at a 45o angle. The dogs paced warily because of the continuing sound of the gale. No doubt about it, the force of the storm was one to be reckoned with.
Wind can be disruptive and destructive. I swerved several times on my drive to church in order to avoid downed trees. It is powerful enough to turn 120-foot turbines in order to generate kilowatts that will illuminate a city. It can alter a familiar landscape in a matter of seconds and drop the temperature by 200 in a matter of minutes. Yet it also is an agent of cleansing by which seasons of refreshing will come. Acts 3:19
On the Day of Pentecost, the disciples experienced the sudden onslaught of a violent rushing wind from heaven that filled the whole house. It came unexpectedly. It came as a gust, strong and forceful like the blowing of breath on a birthday cake. It filled the room to capacity, literally like the surge of flood waters. This was their introduction to the power and presence of the Almighty.
The Greek words pneuma and pneo are used to describe both wind and the breath (spirit) of God. Not a gentle breeze that delights on a warm spring day, but more like the gust in the down draft of a violent summer storm, pneuma can alter and disrupt the landscape of our lives while offering seasons of refreshing in times when it is desperately needed.
How powerful is this gale of God? Author Annie Dillard wrote,
“We should put on crash helmets in church. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews…for the awakening God may draw us to where we can never return.”
A windblown encounter with the Holy of Holies can rend our world topsy-turvy with reckless abandonment and we will never quite be the same. That’s why the proverb says, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. But you know, I welcome it.
Most of you know I am retiring in September and the landscape of 2022 is going to significantly change for Kathie and me by then. Far from quitting the ministry, we prefer to think that we are being “windblown” into a season that will have both its rewards and challenges. And I wish no less for each of you.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think – to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever!
Let it be! Eph 3:20-21 ESV
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