A little known Johnny Depp film called “Chocolat” began in a village where a sour-faced aristocrat ordered the local priest around and, together, they emphasized sin and penance to the exclusion of the joy of the Lord. One day, in the middle of mass, a wind begins to blow. It gutters the candles, makes the worshippers uncomfortable, and the aristocrat rushes to the door of the church and bolts the doors against the wind. The reason for the wind quickly becomes clear. Two newcomers have come to town to open their “chocolaterie” and they offer a fresh joy of life and new energy for the frightened, subdued town. But in the light of today’s text, I find it ironic that the first doors shut against the newcomers and their refreshing wind was the church.
I also supposed everyone has seen “The Wizard of Oz.” We all know that virtually the entire movie is a dream sequence because of Dorothy being injured in a cyclone, a storm wind. Did you know that they actually built a miniatures set of the Gale farm and destroyed it for the movie, but took out some of the scenes because the cyclone effects were perceived as too frightening? Nevertheless, the beautiful color adventure through the Land of Oz wouldn’t have occurred if Dorothy hadn’t experienced the frightening cyclone. And, since she actually finds out about herself, her courage, her love for others, and her appreciation of home, it is reasonable to suggest that she discovered a certain amount of maturity after weathering the storm.
So, I have suggested three movies which began with a wind sweeping through the lives of the characters. In the first two illustrations, towns were changed; in the last, an individual was changed. It seems safe to say that wind is a powerful metaphor for sweeping away the familiar, the comfortable, and the predictable in order to bring some sort of transformation, be it destructive or be it productive. We also have a wind, a storm wind to be specific, in today’s text, the familiar account of the Day of Pentecost from Acts 2:1-21. [Read the text.]
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Brian Mavis on Oct 27, 2000
You share Christ by imitating Christ. A story is told – by Fredrick Beuchner I believe – called “The Happy Hypocrite." It is a story about a man who was born with an awful facial deformity. He grew up alone and lonely. When reaching adulthood, he decided to move from his town to begin a new life. ...read more
Contributed by Richard Crow on May 24, 2001
The Department of Social Services in Greenville County, South Carolina sent the following letter to a deceased individual. "Your food stamps will be stopped effective March, 1992, because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You ...read more
Contributed by Sermoncentral on Sep 21, 2001
THE AGE BAROMETER Change is a fact of life. The older you are the more change you’ve seen. This morning I have a test called "The Age Barometer". By taking this simple test you can determine how old you really are. Give yourself one point for each item you remember: 1. Blackjack ...read more
Contributed by Steve Malone on Sep 25, 2001
We need to understand that our world is a fast changing world. Change is not necessary bad - if fact change is normal - Change is really a sign of life. Do you know, what the medical definition of death is? a body that does not change... During my sermon your body is going to change ...read more
Contributed by A. Todd Coget on May 24, 2002
Transformed by an Elevator A family from a remote area was making their first visit to a big city. They checked in to a grand hotel and stood in amazement at the impressive sight. Leaving the reception desk they came to the elevator entrance. They’d never seen an elevator before, and just ...read more