Wind is one of the few things we understand to be nonphysical and tangible at the same time. We can’t see or hold it, but we don’t doubt its existence because we can feel it and see its effects. We’ve experienced both its stillness and sudden gust that moves us with such force. Wind can propel and prevent, rage a storm or calm a sea. It has no biases or boundaries and can move almost anything.
Acts 2 records the beginning of the Church. After Jesus ascended into heaven and the disciples were waiting for the Spirit to come as He had promised, we’re told, “They were all together in one place…and suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting…and all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit…”
Notice the text says it was a sound like the blowing of wind. This is one of the things I’ve always found profound and beautiful about God. In all His mystery and magnitude, He wanted to offer every way to help us know Him. He knew we would have a hard time understanding Him and His nature because He is unlike anything within our frame of reference. Instead of remaining unknown and unrelatable, God often chose to reveal what He is like and how we should respond to Him by using metaphors. And my favorite metaphor for the Holy Spirit is wind.
The Hebrew word for Spirit is Ruock, and in the New Testament, Numa. Both have the root meaning of “wind” or a “breath of air.” Helping a religious leader named Nicodemus understand how the Holy Spirit works in our lives, Jesus, in John 3:8, says, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.”
If the Holy Spirit is the wind, then, as a church, we must individually and collectively answer what our relationship with it will be. Will we hide behind big buildings and closed doors, traditions and tested theories? Will we place our trust in that we can contain and control? Or will we choose another way?
We want Catch the Wind to be a mantra for our church. A value we live by. The wind is what moves and directs us. Wind can’t be contained, controlled, captured, or stuck in a box. It blows where it pleases and isn’t concerned with 5-year plans or strategic goals. Wind can come suddenly and change direction unexpectedly. All we want to do is raise the sails and catch it.
For our third issue of Unleashed, we challenge you to think of the Church as a sailboat and to be a part of the crew. There’s an old term to describe people who stayed away from boats—land lovers. Land lovers might enjoy the beauty of sailing, see others sailing and think, “Well that’s fine for them,” or even tell themselves, “Someday I’ll set sail.” But every once in a while, a land lover feels the wind and its calling.
To all you land lovers who’ve felt that breeze, this is your invitation to board the ship.
As you read these stories, we hope you feel the wind blowing and know that God has set before you a great adventure. It’s time to Catch the Wind.
Southeast Christian Church