Summary: If you want to catch the wind of God’s Spirit, you a hve to be where the wind blows.
Title: Living In a Windy Place
Text: Acts 2:1-21
Thesis: If you want to catch the wind of God’s Spirit, you have to be where the wind blows.
Background for the Message:
We have just concluded the Season of Easter and now we begin the Season of Pentecost. On the Church Calendar, Christ is risen and has ascended into heaven. Today marks the occasion when Jesus fulfilled his promise to send the Holy Spirit who would not only live among His people, but would live within and work through His people. We will conclude the message today at the Lord’s Table observing communion, where we will once again place ourselves in the way of God’s grace as the Spirit of God continues His work in our lives.
In John 3, Jesus was in a conversation with a man named Nicodemus, attempting to explain the difference between physical birth and spiritual birth, i.e., being born of the Spirit or born again. You may be able to predict what we call “a due date” when we speak of anticipating the physical birth of a baby. However, it is not so easy to predict or anticipate when or how people are born of the Spirit or born again.
He likened the movement of the Sprit of God to the movement of the wind. He said you can hear wind but you cannot see it. Our text today describes the moving of God’s Spirit as the sound of a windstorm in the sky above. You cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going… but you know when it hits you.
The Northern Gannet is a large seabird with a wingspan of up to 70 inches. Its range is the North Atlantic and it lives in large colonies of up to 60,000 birds, on cliffs overlooking the ocean or on rocky islands. They are, as you will soon see, spectacular divers when they feed, but they have also learned to catch and ride the wind. (wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Gannet)
Watch how these spectacular birds catch the wind.
Catching the Wind Clip of Northern Gannets (YouTube, Traveling Birds = Northern Gannets)
If you want to capture the power of the wind, you have to be where the wind blows. We have just observed the way the Northern Gannet finds and rides the wind in the Northern Atlantic. The analogy is the same for the wind of the Spirit… there are places where we are more likely to encounter the Spirit than others. Our text suggests that the power of the wind is most likely captured in community.
1. The Wind of God’s Spirit is most likely captured in Community.
“The believers were meeting together in one place.” Acts 2:1
Utility scale wind power is not found just anywhere. The U.S. Department of Energy has published a color-coded, Colorado Wind Resource Map. The map clearly indicates on a scale from poor to superb, where wind power is sufficient to generate utility scale electrical power. Some of the best wind farms are located from Ft. Collins, north to the Wyoming border. If you travel I-76 north of Sterling, you can see wind farms to the west. Another hot spot for wind power is a large area south of Lamar, CO. The exposed ridge of the Front Range and the Continental Divide are also prime places to catch the wind. The Western Slope, on the other hand, is not.
(U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Colorado Wind Power Resource Map)
Wind farms are strategically placed where they will most likely generate utility scale electrical power. The collective power of community is illustrated by the way wind farmers configure turbine generators on wind farms.
Notice how the wind towers are gathered together in a specific place.
Project Wind Farm Photo
Wind is a powerful force when captured in the right place.
The Christians in Jerusalem were all together in one place. They were gathered – they were not in different places. The ones who stayed at home that day, missed the wind of God’s Spirit. This is not to say that God does not move in individual lives in times and places of isolation, because God moves at will. There are many things about God that are predictable but God would not be God if we had God all figured out. In fact, in scripture God specifically states that his thoughts are completely different than our thoughts and his ways are beyond anything we might imagine. Isaiah 55:8
That said, Christianity is largely about living, serving, worshipping, learning, fellowshipping, and growing in gatherings.
The wisdom literature of the Old Testament speaks of the power of community.
• “Two people can accomplish more that twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12