The Wind blows where it chooses, you hear the sound of it but do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. Jn 3:8
‘I suppose your letter this week will be about the wind’ ‘Well, no not this week’, I thought. By the time the gales swept in, my weekly contribution to your mailbox was written and, for some, printed. Today, a week later, the sun is shining once more and the wind has abated. The wind blows where (and when) it chooses.
For centuries, I’m sure, wind has been a mystery. You can’t see it, you can’t touch it, and until recently we had no idea where it came from or went to. Yet, you could hear it and see it’s consequences. Get it right and the energy of the wind can be harvested; get it wrong and the consequences can be fatal. For millennia we have used the wind, feared the wind, studied the wind.
Today we know much more about where the wind comes from, and where it goes. Weather forecasts have greatly improved in just my lifetime, and our knowledge and understanding both continue to expand. For all that, the wind (along with other, related meteorological phenomena) remains frustratingly independent. Sun and rain, stormy squalls or peaceful calm; all can nestle remarkably close to each other. Nature, especially when we leave her alone, works her own patterns and refuses to conform to our demands for certainty.
As with the wind, so it is with the Spirit of God. For it was you (God) who formed my inward parts;… I am fearfully and wonderfully made, wrote the psalmist, (Ps 139:13,14). We are not clones; not the product of some divine (or fiendish) production line. We are unique, hand-crafted, artisan creations. We are the work of a master craftsman. God made each one of us; made us uniquely individual. When we recognise this individuality, then it should be but a small step to recognise, also, that God’s purpose for each of us is unique, different. There is only one Spirit, and we are all created by the same Spirit, but the working of that Spirit differs in each of us. It was the Spirit who led Jesus into wilderness (Matt 4:1), the Spirit who called Moses out of the burning bush (Exod: 3), the Spirit who moved over the waters in the beginning (Gen 1:2). It is the Spirit who calls to each of us. For all our current troubles, personal and communal, we are each of us, individually, fearfully and wonderfully made. We may not know where the Spirit is blowing us; we can be sure, however, that it is our path to the kingdom of God (Jn 3:3)
Rev’d Philip Payne The Notice Sheet for 1 October 2023 can be found here