Warning: include_once(/home/ccshell/shawnaatteberry.com/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-support/wordpress-support.php): failed to open stream: Permission denied in /home/ccshell/shawnaatteberry.com/wp-settings.php on line 278

Warning: include_once(): Failed opening '/home/ccshell/shawnaatteberry.com/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-support/wordpress-support.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/local/lib/php:/usr/local/php5/lib/pear') in /home/ccshell/shawnaatteberry.com/wp-settings.php on line 278
Pentecost Sermon Meanderings – Shawna R. B. Atteberry
May 272009

I’m preaching this Sunday. It’s the first time in a year I’ve preached and will be the first time at Grace Episcopal. Plus this will be the first time I’ve preached twice in one day: the 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. services. Me getting out of bed at 6:00 a.m. Sunday morning is going to be a sight to see. 🙂

I’ve been thinking about wind. Both the Greek and Hebrew words for spirit also mean wind and breath. I’ve been playing with the wind being a metaphor for the Spirit. I’m from Oklahoma, and I have lived in some part of the Midwest for 26 years. In other words wind is a part of my life. I really like the wind as a metaphor for the Spirit.

Wind is unpredictable. You don’t know what it’s going to do. It can give you a wonderful cool breeze on a hot summer day. It can also destroy large swaths of land and city. As Jesus told Nicodemus you can’t see either the wind or the Spirit but you can feel them. You don’t where either comes from or where they are going. Wind is not something anyone can control. It decides when it blows and how. It can choose to be still and silent or roaring hundreds of miles per hour. No one tells the wind where to blow, but it will blow you a few blocks up the street on certain days. It’s wonderful when it acts like we think it should, and it’s disasterous  when it does what it want to do with no regard to humanity.

I think this is why we don’t here to much about the Holy Spirit. We can’t control her. Godde the Father-Mother gets put in a nice, neat little box with all of her attributes. Godde the Son gets put in his own little box with his works and attributes. But what do we do with Godde the Holy Spirit? What do we do with this wonky member of the Trinity who doesn’t fit into all of our nice, net little boxes with the nice neat little attributes afixed to her box? The Spirit does what she wants and blows where she wants. When she gives a nice breeze of inspiration during private prayer, we love her. When she blows us out of our comfort zones to serve the poor and oppressed, we not to sure about her and her methods.

Just like the wind, fire cannot be controlled either. We love the illusion we control fire in the pits and fireplaces of life, but then a bush fire starts and devastates thousands of square miles, burning everything it comes across, blown by the unpredictable wind. We like to think the Spirit enriches our lives. We don’t like to think about the devastation that same Spirit can cause. Like the wind and the fire we cannot control Godde’s Spirit. She blows where she wills, convicts where she wills, redeems where she wills, and blows us kicking and screaming into obeying the Beatitudes instead of just giving them lip service.

She is the part of Godde that theologians, preachers, and writers have never been able to pin down, examine, and define. So we ignore her.

How do you think of the Spirit? What metaphors do you like for the Spirit? (C’mon! help a preacher gal out here.)

Did you know there are only eight verses in the Bible that discourage women from speaking and holding leadership positions in the church? Did you know there are thousands of verses in the Bible that tell the stories of women who were leaders in their homes, towns, and religious circles? Meet the women in the Bible who were religious & civic leaders, business women, & women who challenged both Jesus and Moses in What You Didn’t Learn in Sunday School. What else didn’t you learn in Sunday School? Find out when you buy What You Didn’t Learn in Sunday School: Women Who Didn’t Shut Up & Sit Down from Wipf and Stock Publishers or Amazon.com today.

Related Articles

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

  3 Responses to “Pentecost Sermon Meanderings”

  1. Pentecost is my favorite liturgical holiday. I love the images for Spirit here – wind and fire. I love that the Spirit compels scared disciples (those original followers of jesus and contemporary ones) into the world as evangelists. We may try to lock ourselves up in our “sanctuaries”, but Godde’s Spirit will come and blow the doors off their hinges and send us out into the world.

    A few years ago, when I was struggling with my denomination and their “vision” of a new church in the South Loop, I wrote these pieces on Pentecost: Cosmic Wind and Cosmic Wind (redux)

  2. By the way, thanks for your excellent post.

  3. Wind and fire are awesome….For Sunday music video on Pentecost I am posting settings of John of the Cross’ poem “Living Flame of Love.” There are some other natural images that are cool too, living water of course, and from the old chant Veni Creator Spiritus sweet perfume and coolness in the heat.

    Wish I could be there to hear you!

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



CommentLuv badge