We are called to be the hands of the Lord in this place, open to all, reaching out to the community and the world.

Filled With the Breath of God

“When the day of Pentecost came…. suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind…. all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.”

I’ve shared this poem by Hafiz with you before, but this week it is particularly helpful:

“I am a hole in a flute
that the Christ’s breath moves through- listen to this music.”

As we prepare ourselves for Pentecost Sunday I am thinking about that first group of disciples – waiting, uncertain of what was going to happen, but knowing that something was going to happen. Jesus said to them prior to his ascension, “…you will be baptized with the  Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Of course, they had no context with which to judge how or what the Holy Spirit would look like, would work, would make itself known. All they knew is that something was going to happen. So, they waited “neither knowing the times or periods….” but making themselves available to “be Jesus’ witnesses….” (Acts 1.7-8).
I find it interesting that Hafiz, a Persian Sufi poet, understands so clearly the relationship that Jesus promises to his followers between themselves and the Spirit of God. Notice that a flute makes music because it allows itself to have an opening to the wind, making itself available, just as the disciples had as they waited. The flute also allows it’s keys to be depressed in a pattern the musician knows, creating the dance.
The promise of the scriptures is that they are living, not just stories of then and there, but the Word of the Creator which speaks and breaths even today. As we think about Pentecost and the arrival of the Holy Spirit I invite you to take a moment to consider your own self in relation to the Holy Spirit. Do you have an opening in your psyche, your ego, your worldview for the Breath of God to blow through? Or, are your beliefs and life plans sewn up so tightly that the Holy Spirit is rebuffed when it shows up? Are you so bent on controlling your world that the keys of your life are full of your fingers, leaving no room for the Creator’s fingers seeking to make music through you?
Think about the teachings of Jesus, probably best summed up in the Beatitudes – “Blessed are those….
(Matthew 5.1-12 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/? search=matthew+5.1-12&version=RSV ). Now think about your teachings to the world as conveyed by what you say, what you think, what you read and watch, and what you do. As you wander the streets of the world, as did those first disciples, does your music (your teachings) witness to Jesus’ teachings or different teachings?
Jesus promises his followers that something will happen – the Holy Spirit will “baptize” them. What that looks like is different for everyone, but everyone has the potential to be an instrument for the Creator’s music. Everyone can be filled with the Breath of God. The moments and places of this filling are not ours to know, just ours to receive. Just ours to make into beautiful music for the world.