Bread – Winds

October 1, 2014


Readings for Wednesday, October 1, 2014, designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: Hosea 4:11-19; Acts 21:15-26; Luke 5:27-39; Psalms 101,109,119:121-144

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In our reading from Hosea today, there is a useful phrase – “A wind has wrapped them in its wings…” Hosea 4:19

Not only is this phrase poetic, it is visual and practical. You can just see the fingers of the wind blowing here and there, wrapping themselves around us, comforting us, supporting us, calming us, and even caressing us. Who has not thought or dreamed about being carried upon the wind from one place to another? Isn’t that what hot air balloons are about?

What winds have wrapped us in their wings today?

Maybe it is the wind of fear, wrapping us and enveloping us in a brew of suspicion, concern, and distraction. We here about new diseases, one of which has just come to our city, and the winds of disease and destruction swirl throughout the news media and our conversation, wrapping us up in today’s disaster.

Maybe it is the wind of work, wrapping us and enveloping us in a brew of busyness and business, wrapping us up in the wings of economics, jobs, money, position, activity, and “achievement.”

Maybe it is the wind of new ideas from the mind of man, wrapping us and enveloping us in a brew of self-satisfaction, intellectual treats, educational snobbery, and “thoughtful” pursuits.

In Hosea, it was the wind of whoredom which has wrapped Israel in its wings, sending Israel into both spiritual adultery (where idols made by man become more important than God) and physical adultery (where man’s conduct devolves into immorality and satisfaction of base passions).

We know as Christians that the only wind we should have wrapping us up in its wings is the wind of the Holy Spirit, the breath of life, the power to engage the world without becoming polluted by the world.

And yet, what wind do we let wrap itself around us? The wind of change, the wind of politics, the wind of activity, the wind of intellectual curiosity, the wind we create ourselves, the wind that others create for us?

It is Wednesday and the week is half over. What wind have you let envelope you this week? What wind will you let cover you this week going forward?

You know, my earlier reference to a hot air balloon sticks with me. Man makes the balloon and he makes the hot air which fills the balloon. When filled with hot air, the balloon will carry the man over far distances, limited only by the amount of hot air the man can generate from his machines. When the hot air runs out, the balloon lands on the ground and the trip is over.

But when we fill our spiritual balloon with the wind of the Holy Spirit, where can we go? To infinity and beyond, to eternity. Will the wind of the Holy Spirit go away? No (We might fail to use it; we might even fail to see it, but the wind of the Holy Spirit remains.)

So, ultimately, there are two winds which can enfold us. One is from God and the other is of the world, of man, of Satan. One is the breath of life, and the other is the wind of idolatry.

Both winds can fill our sails, but one sustains us on the journey of life and the other on the journey of death. Which wind will you let wrap you in its wings today?

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© 2014 GBF

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