The Wind

24 12 2007

Scripture:
John 3:5-9 NIV Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. ..6.. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. ..7.. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ ..8.. The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” ..9.. “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

Observations:
The dawn is breaking on this beautiful, but wet Christmas Eve morning. As I looked out my window this morning I realized how great it is to look at swaying trees rather than cookie cutter trac-homes. I am so glad to be out of the sprawling subdivisions of Colorado Springs. My soul thrives in natural surroundings.

I think back on Christmases past and the times I had with my family. Where did they come from, where did they go. The events are murky, yet the emotions are clear. The events were mostly created by my Mom, but were a crescendo of traditions and creativity from generations past and cultures present. Last night a Christmas song came on the radio – it is a classic now, but was a pop sensation 40 years ago.

I miss those Christmases, but really, I’ve mostly rejected the secularism that has invaded the celebration of my Lord’s birth. Christmas is more simple, less stressful, and far from the consumerism that punctuated my childhood. As packages come in from grandparents, aunts, and uncles, my daughter begans to experience some greedy anticipation and I am reminded as to why we seek simplicity.

Reading John 2-4 today reminded me of an article I recently read in Newsweek. It was about global models of weather prediction. Some scientists are looking at Siberian weather to make predictions for the coming years; while others look at El Nino and other factors. Though both models have their merits, both seem amazingly inaccurate. After finishing the article (Snow Domes and Crystal Balls), I was impressed by the thought that when it comes to predicting the great mysteries, we are clueless.

Einstein said that he is frail and humbled to understand the magnitude of God. And Jesus said it so simply above, we don’t see the wind, we don’t know where it came from, but we are able to discern the effects.

So it is with the Spirit of God. We can’t see the Spirit, we don’t know where it came from, and we don’t understand where He is going, but we can see the effects.

Application:
When I first began to experiement with church, about 23 years ago, I was dissapointed. I went in looking for the Spirit of God. I didn’t exactly know what I was looking for, but I had experienced HIm a few times in my life. I had moments in my memory. The events were murky, but the emotions were very clear. There were mountain top experiences, late night wake up moments, and quiet whispers in the dark. I knew I would recognize God when I saw Him, but I wasn’t seeing Him in church.

I left those services disappointed, frustrated, yet more determined than ever to find my God. I wish I could say I found God in church, but I didn’t. I found God in the quiet places – alone and in desperate cries of longing. I have only seen glimpses of Him, but that was enough to lead me deeper into my relationship with Him.

It was out of this budding desperation that I now go to church. Not to find God, but to share Him. Our churches are not filled with godly people, they are filled with desperate people who seek God. (That isn’t to say there are not godly people in church, but the majority are seekers) I don’t go to church to receive, I go to church to share; this is a humbling and frightening responsibility.

I can’t teach God. It is not an academic proposition and I can’t explain Him. I can’t tell you where He came from or where He is going – but I can let Him affect me from the inside out. Hopefully you will see the effects of God in my life, my attitudes, and my directions.

Prayer:
Father God, just for today, come into my life and affect me with your very presence. You alone are holy and you alone have the power to affect life on a universal scale. We don’t know if the weather originates in El Nino or on the frozen plains of Siberia, but we do know that you are the author and finisher of our faith. I know God that you will not abandon me, but rather you will be “faithful to complete a good work in me.” Today God, continue to work in me, through me, and out of me.

I love you too!

gw

*****

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