Winds of Change
Tony E Dillon Hansen
Sermon based upon Acts 2:1-21, Psalm 104 and John 14:27
When the Soviet Union released its grip on eastern Europe there was this enormous sense of happiness and relief that erupted as Germany reunited and the East opened up, breathed a collective sigh and celebrations of community. There was this song by Scorpions called "Wind of Change" that seemed to encapsulate the spirit of peace breathing on us all.
There are different ways people can describe the Spirit. Words may not fully do justice, but feeling can. The spirit is one way people connect to the universe, the spaces, the holy in meditation. When we sit, pause, breathe, Clear your mind, clear your shoulders of your burdens, clear your hearts of worry for just a moment.
Feel the wind around you, witness the spirit in that wind, feel that spirit move you and be with you.
Acts sets into motion for the disciples the next step in their journeys as followers and students of Jesus to become community, to become church. In this unexpected show of the spirit, Did they realize what happened ?
All were filled with the Holy Spirit - what happens when that happens? There is a spirit manifest in communal setting not just the personal. They became spirit to each other. In your breathing, you join with others in the room.
When that happens, experience pure relief and happiness. Clarity opens your heart, your lungs: clarity that opens mind and soul.
God transcends fear and arrogance to show us the truth in us and with us. Make room for the spirit to clarify and open up your heart. Then we find places in our hearts full of love. Let that love pour out into our world. Together in community, we feel and sense the love and spirit of God’s peace found in all life (Psalm 104).
In that discovery, we find the spirit, part of the holy in us. Isn’t that a wonderful thought? Isn’t that something worth celebrating? Are you worth celebrating? Yes you are!
Feel that grace. People may say it’s only 10:00 and they look drunk. When you are full of the spirit, you may look a little different, happier with assurance, confident with holy courage and comforted with grace hugging you in the wind of change around you.
Life is still a challenge and full of change. Change is not to be feared but to be embraced when you invite and witness the holy. Who accompanies you in this journey of life, of community, of church?
When we allow ourselves to witness that spirit in our hearts, we find the strength as well to speak up against violence in our world; to speak to someone who needs a nudge in their own lives; to help someone see and feel a better way of peace and love rather than those of fear and demagoguery.
Think: how much pain someone must be feeling to plan murdering 2nd graders, grocery shoppers, or church goers? What could someone have said to them to witness their pain, be with them and change their hearts from cold to God’s warmth? Sometimes, all it takes is “I see you; I feel you - you are loved!” We can’t reach all, but we can reach those near us.
Find the spirit nudging us to share the Spirit of peace with others. Then, together we might be able to prevent a shooting. Besides, schools do not need to be the front lines of our culture wars, and they need less guns instead of more.
The spirit is not just for personal but for communal witness - to be shared. Reach into your community, into your neighbors to show them this way of love and grace - the winds of change. Find that spirit growing in you, in your breath, and know that the holy walks with you. Find that spirit growing in us and walking with us.
When the Soviets left, all of the world breathed a sigh of relief. There was no longer east versus west, but all of Europe and world full of opportunities. There was a spirit of peace that prevailed over all countries and languages. A holy spirit to be experienced. All understood and felt the spirit. Maybe that is what it was like in that room over a couple millennium ago.
“Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow share their dreams
With you and me
Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
With you and me in the wind of change.”
Sit, pause, breathe. Feel the “peace I give.” Witness the magic of this moment, the wind of change. Take the next step.
Thanks Be to God