Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

Catching the wind

On a recent trip to cross the Ambassador Bridge, Julie and I passed miles and miles of wind farms on highway 401 between Chatham and Windsor.  These huge towers with their 20+-metre blades catch the prevailing wind and transform it into electricity.  And in that wide-open southwestern Ontario landscape between Lake Huron and Lake Erie, the wind blows quite briskly and quite often.

Wind power is a promising form of renewable energy, but the wind can be hard to catch on a regular basis.  The best winds don’t blow at ground level.  The strongest and most consistent winds blow high up in the air, where they carry many times more energy than down below.

Because the tallest wind turbine is only about 200 metres high, harvesting this high-energy wind is a challenge.  But leave it to human ingenuity.  Sky WindPower, an Australian company, has developed a flying generator that looks like a cross between a kite and a helicopter.  The rotors lift the frame to a high altitude, and cables tether it to the ground.  The generator inside the frame catches the high-velocity wind, converts it into electricity, and sends it back down to earth through the cables.

Moral of the story:  to catch the wind, you have to be at the place where it is blowing.  Wind engineers know this.  And that was also the experience of Jesus disciples at Pentecost (Acts 2), which we shall celebrate on Sunday, June 8.  The disciples have followed the ascending Jesus’s instruction to return to Jerusalem and wait.  Suddenly the group is caught by a mighty wind—the wind of God’s Spirit—and amazing things begin to happen.  In fact, the rest of the book of Acts shows the energy produced by this Spirit/wind as the disciples radiate outward into the world with preaching, teaching, healing, confronting political authorities, and building up their own Christian community.

If we at The First Mennonite Church wish to experience the dynamic, renewing, transforming energy of the same Spirit/wind of God, how can we position ourselves to catch it?  Perhaps the attitude and activities of the disciples on the threshhold of Pentecost can be instructive for us.  Luke, the writer of Acts, tells us they were gathered together, “constantly devoting themselves to prayer” (1:14).   And then, in God’s time, the Spirit/wind came upon them.

We cannot summon or control the Spirit/wind of God.  It blows when and where it pleases.  But perhaps by gathering regularly in worship, and engaging in prayer—constant, ongoing prayer, including prayer to be open to God’s Spirit—we, too, can be in a position to catch the wind of Pentecost.


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First thoughts

What is your most memorable breakfast?

I am not a breakfast person, but even I have a memorable breakfast story.  I remember cooking bacon in Waterton National Park at a remote camping site; Eugene had gone off for a hike.  Suddenly I heard a bear growling right behind me, and I whirled around with my knife in my hand!

To find…Eugene falling on the ground laughing.  A very memorable breakfast.  That was on our honeymoon…good thing I wasn’t faster with that knife!

This Sunday we are going to be exploring the story of a famous breakfast.  It’s the story of Jesus making a barbeque breakfast on the beach for the disciples.  It’s the first breakfast he shares with them after the resurrection…as far as we know it’s the only breakfast he shares with them after the resurrection.  In fact, it’s the only breakfast with Jesus that I can think of being described in scripture!  (let me know if you can think of one!)

Why would Jesus be rustling up breakfast?  What was this meeting on the beach all about?  One thing we know for sure, it’s a breakfast the disciples never forgot.

Years ago I gave out a little book of table graces, and this week’s prayer is the shortest one from that collection (I always think of Robert Friesen when I say it, he told me it was his  favourite prayer):

For bacon, eggs, and buttered toast, 
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.


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