5/22/2007

Wind, breath, spirit

Here's this week's "Opening the Bible" blog entry for i.ucc. Pentecost is this Sunday!

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This week’s blog entry is designed to provoke. It's intention is to make the reader uncomfortable. It desires to make it impossible for you to ignore it.
Here's a gross-out beginning:
In Ezekiel 37:1-14, God showed Ezekiel something incredible:"I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin.
"Eeeew!" (or “Cool!” depending on your taste.)
But then the spirit -- the wind, the breath of God *(all the same thing here) went to work. The bones --that were once dry, then covered with ligaments and muscles and skin -- came to life. There was a huge army of them.
The Ezekiel passage about the dry bones coming to life is explained as a prophecy about the rebirth of Israel -- a nation that was then in exile. The scene is weird and vivid. It’s also dreamlike.
This week’s Pentecost reading from Acts 2:1-21 is another Bible passage featuring the spirit. This time, however, the wind -- the breath of God -- isn't so "dreamy."
The believers were all gathered in a house -- and all of a sudden there was a violent and rushing wind that filled the place where they were. It was intense -- thrilling -- moving -- troubling . . . Just when some were getting comfortable with the way things were, everything changed. People talked differently. Strange things seemed to be flying all over the room. It was unsettling! And after the wind came, things would never be the same. Some were excited by the change. Others were angered and just wanted things to get back to normal.
But it didn't.
I hope that i.ucc (and this blog) is part of the uneasy, thrilling, moving, troubling wind of the Holy Spirit showing up and moving us to new places. I hope it is part of the Holy Spirit moving us to previously unheard of ideas and hard questions. I hope that it is part of the Holy Spirit moving us through major skepticism and toward life to the fullest.
May God reach us in the places we keep hidden. May God reach us where we are fearful. May God reach us where we are uncomfortable. Let the wind blow!

2 comments:

MICKY said...

THE BREATH OF GOD
About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell. I imagine I was going through some sort of metamorphosis [mental, physical & spiritual]. I had been seeing a therapist [1994] on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staff was very supportive [I had no control over my process]. I was released from hospital 16th September 2004, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.” I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing. I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages . God LOVES me so much. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17].
PEACE BE WITH YOU
MICKY

Kirk said...

Thank you for sharing your experience, Micky. May God Bless you on your continuing journey.