Thursday, May 12, 2016

Ruah: Wild Wind

Ruah, written in Hebrew above, is the Hebrew word translated with three different words: "wind" or "breath" or "spirit".  I use it here, a name for God the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ruah.

John 3:5-8
Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Wild Wind,
you, who blow
where ever you choose,
we cannot see your coming,
nor can we know where you go.

We can only see
your affects.
The trees bend and sway.
The rains follow your lead.
The sailboat is driven by your power.
The turbine and windmill turn.
The oppressed are set free!
The offender is forgiven!
The grudge long held is loosed.
The fears that hold us back are conquered.
The faith we hold intensely personal
becomes boldly public.
The cross saves the day.
The empty tomb makes all the difference.
Mere fisherman speak so all the world understands.

But sometimes,
O Wild Wind,
you blow too hard.
You threaten to overturn
our self-made yacht,
our comfortable pew.

You push and blow
and send us on a new course,
a course that pushes us
into unknown waters,
with unknown troubles,
and yet unknown joys,
but we fear the worst
and make up stories
about what monsters may lay beyond
and how the old path was better,
or at least more comfortable.

Nineveh is the last place we want to go;
and yet the exact place
your grace,
your wildly generous,
wildly extravagant,
uncontrollably forgiving
wind, Ruah, blows us.

Blow, O Wild Wind, blow!

Sunday, May 15 is Pentecost Sunday, the day the church celebrates the gift of the Spirit to the church. This week's prayers will reflect on the Holy Spirit, God's Ruah.

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