St Mary’s Church Coddenham

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From the Rectory – The Wind Blows

by | Jan 25, 2024 | Coddenham Church, News

St Marys Church Coddenham in Autumn by Georgie Kerr

The wind blows where it chooses, you hear the sound of it, you do not know where it comes from or goes.  The wind is certainly doing a lot of blowing of late.

Last night (Sunday) it rattled around the house and this morning the news is full of tales of disruption and destruction.  Wind is a potent force and more is promised before you get to read this.

My opening words are from St John’s Gospel (John 3:8).  Jesus was not discussing weather forecasting.  Speaking with Nicodemus, he uses wind as an analogy for the impact of the Holy Spirit; adding so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.

Meteorology has come a long way in the last two millennia.  We now have a good idea of how winds develop, where they are coming from and going to.  Aided by powerful computers, weather forecasting has become much more accurate.  For all that, there remains an element of unknowing; of uncertainty.  Tomorrow is another day.

And what of the person born of the Spirit?  Jesus had just told Nicodemus of the need to be ‘born again’; not a physical rebirth but birth of water and the Holy Spirit.  The notion of being born again remains as confusing today as it was for Nicodemus.  What does it mean to be born again and how does it happen? Jesus doesn’t say; there is no list of characteristics; no ritual.  Instead, we see people experiencing Jesus’ presence and some being moved to believe that God is at work in him; even that he (Jesus), to quote St Peter, is the Holy One of God (John 6:69).  Just maybe, this is Jesus’ point.  As with the wind, we identify the presence of the Holy Spirit at work in a person by its impact.

I have plans for the future.  From a simple question like ‘should I take a coat’ to more complex, and serious, long-range planning; I want an accurate forecast.  The truth is that I can only know so much and so I need to remain alert; ready and able to respond to a change in the weather. Outside, the clouds are gathering afresh and the trees and shrubs have come alive; dancing their stormy dance.  I can read the signs, I know what this means.  Inside, when the wind of the Holy Spirit of God blows, does it have the same effect; do I notice?


Rev Philip Payne                                                         Notice Sheet for 28 Jan 2024 can be found here

Photo; Georgie Kerr


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