With my jogging and bike riding, I’m usually aware of the wind. A little wind may not seem like much until you have to run into it or ride a bike against it. If I’m running a there-and-back run, I’ll try to go out against the wind and then come back with it at my back. The first half is hard, but then the second half, with the wind blowing me along, is easy. On long trips, I’m curious what my gas mileage is, and on my car I can monitor my average gas mileage. When I’m driving against the wind, the gas mileage decreases, but if I get a tail-wind, I’m zipping along with good (cheaper) gas usage. Wind makes a difference.

The Greek word for spirit, pneuma, also means wind and breath. From that word we have English words like pneumonia and pneumatic tires. Acts 2 tells us when the Holy Spirit came on the church, they experienced it in two ways, with tongues of fire and with the sound of a rushing wind or breath. They knew the Spirit as the wind or breath that breathed life into them, forming them into a church. That wind is still among us, blowing through us and the church.

We’re just about to the day of Pentecost (May 20) when we celebrate the Holy Spirit coming among us. I often wish on Pentecost I could set up some movie-set wind makers in our balcony, big fans that would blow things around. I daydream about, during the reading of scripture, turning those fans on and feeling the rush and sound of wind. I imagine hairdos being blown out of shape and bulletins swirling around our sanctuary. We might start to realize then the wind of the Spirit that’s around us, breathing life into us in ways extraordinary and unexpected. May you know the Spirit’s wind and breath as we celebrate Pentecost!

— Rev. Jason Jones