Breath, Wind, Spirit

May 29, 2017

Scripture Reading: Numbers 11:24-30

So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent. Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again. –Numbers 11:24-25

The Hebrew word for spirit is ruach, which is used interchangeably for breath and wind. In Biblical literature, the Spirit of God is as ancient as the creation stories. The earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.(Genesis 2:1). We should not be surprised to find it in the book of Numbers. The mysteries of the nature of God abides with us always.

I fear we Christians may limit the beginning of the history of the Spirit of God to Pentecost or the book of John’s report of Jesus breathing the Spirit on the disciples after the resurrection. The book of Hebrews (13:8) proclaims Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Surely this description includes the Spirit.

What does the foreverness of the Spirit mean to us today? What does a relationship with the Spirt mean? I write this to a symphony of wind gales in the background the aftermath of damaging winds and tornados that ravaged the Plains about 100 miles west of my home last night. Many homes were destroyed, people were injured, and one man was killed. We do not take wind lightly in Oklahoma. We should not take the Spirit of God lightly either. A power able to form the earth from chaos can shape us into a powerful Body carrying out the work of Christ in the world today. Let it be so.

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, move among us making us each whole, together one, and advocates for your justice. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the new Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.