acts 2:1-11; 1 corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13; john 20:19-23
a parish priest narrates a conversation he had with a funeral director about the effect the wind has on things! the director said that, over time, trees that stand out in the open become shaped in the direction the wind is blowing. unless there are other trees around to block it, a tree will eventually be shaped by the force and direction of the wind. then, the funeral director began to point out tree after tree that had been shaped in this way… the cemetery was literally filled with them! all shaped by the wind!
something similar happened to the apostles on the day of pentecost. they were shaped by the wind of GOD—the holy spirit.
the apostles were afraid after jesus’ crucifixion, and confused by his post-resurrection appearances; they shut themselves «in one place together».
at pentecost, the spirit shaped them: from being fearfully behind closed doors, they moved with bold freedom into the open; from being silent spectators, they became vibrant and fearless preachers of the gospel; from being a cluster of individuals, they became a community and a church with a definite mission and mandate to be agents of peace and reconciliation.
the same spirit—which jesus «breathed on» the apostles and which descended on them «like a strong driving wind»—is with us. he helps us move from fear to freedom; from silence to proclamation; from being individuals to being community; from division to reconciliation… when we stand out in the open and allow ourselves to shaped by the wind of GOD.
do i as an individual, and we as a congregation, show any evidence of being shaped by the wind of GOD? if not, what blocks the action of the spirit in my life?