The wind is blowing a gentle breeze outside. As I type these words I can hear its swooshing sound and see the trees outside my office sway. Three Sundays ago the wind was blowing at 50 miles per hour and I was at home sick while my associate preached. At that point I was a little bit sad Pentecost wasn’t then because God’s Spirit is breathe and God’s breathe is 50 miles per hour and more mighty.
As in answer to prayer the wind is still blowing today, albeit with much less force.
The wind blew my hair as I unlocked the doors of the church this morning. I was reminded that the church is the content of the breath of God. The Spirit is the breath but as the Spirit breathes, we are what it pulls in and then sends out.
In the same way that when I take a breath I am pulling in some weird mixture of Nitrogen, O2 and CO2 (among other things) and then breathing out a similar mixture, but with more CO2 than O2, the Spirit breathes in this weird mixture of holy and sinful people and then breathes those people out, but with more holiness than sin.
As I stepped in the door I turned to look at the two giant trees that grace our front lawn. I was reminded that they also breathe in and breathe out only their breath is the reverse. They give us more oxygen and through it more life. We give them more carbon and through it more life. They do our part. We do ours.
I have always appreciated the trees for that very reason. Without them, we have no life.
What I have not always appreciated is that my breath is just as valuable to them as they are to me. Without my breath they die. Without my gift they wither.
Today, on Pentecost Sunday, we remember that glorious day when God’s breathe blew over all creation.
In spiritual (Spirit-ual) worship we are breathed into God. In benediction we are breathed back out to all creation. We are breathed in sinful and breathed out holy. However, we are not breathed out for our own benefit or own pleasure. Holiness is not for the benefit of the saints, in the same way that my CO2 does nothing for me. Holiness is for the benefit of the creation, for all creatures of our God and Kingdom.
Pentecost happens so that the saints may heal the hurting.
So that the saints can fix the broken.
So that the saints can love the unloved and unloveable.
So that the saints can reconcile the enemies.
So that the saints can comfort the afflicted (and yes, afflict the comfortable)
So that the saints can adore the ugly and entertain the lowly.
Pentecost happens so that a Holy people can redeem the world.
Happy Pentecost Everybody!