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Wind & Fire

Wind - a : a destructive force or influence Air - a light breeze : empty space Read Acts 2 Pentecost, meaning fiftieth, is the Greek word for the feast of seven weeks celebrating the end of the harvest season. It was held, appropriately 50 days after the Passover celebration. Jews from all over the known world would make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the annual Passover celebration, and many of them would stay on to visit family, or to do business until the Pentecost festival. Sign of a battle It’s interesting tomorrow we celebrate Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. The holiday was first proclaimed on the fifth of May, 1868 by General John Logan in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on the thirtieth of May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers. This is our remembrance of the sacrifice that was made for us. Pentecost honors a sacrifice as well. It is the result of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. In John 14, Jesus told his disciples, 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. Wind : 569 times in the bible (wind/spirit) Now, my guess is that most of us are not wind experts. After all, how many intelligent things can someone say about wind? For that matter, have you ever tried to define wind? How would you complete this sentence, “Wind is ____?” A sixth grader has offered this definition for wind: “The wind is like air, only pushier!” And, what a great way to put it! In the Hebrew scriptures “wind” and “spirit” are identical. John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Wind also generate power for homes and business’ Largest wind storm - The most monstrous tornado Super outbreak of the 20th century was the Super Outbreak of April 3-4, 1974. During a 16-hour period, 148 tornadoes churned through Illinois and Indiana into Michigan and Ohio southward through the Tennessee Valley into Mississippi and Alabama with speeds topping 260 mph. This outbreak produced the largest number of tornadoes, with 30 causing F4 damage or worse. On one occasion, as many as five large tornadoes were on the ground at one time. The outbreak killed 315 people and resulted in 6,142 injuries. Fire (Spirit) Fire 506 fire and the lord186 in the bible

In Acts 1 Jesus commanded his disciples 4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence..'' They knew there was reason to wait, but certainly it was not clear to them just what it meant. They huddled in a locked room, fearful of the Pharisees. Suddenly there was the sound of a mighty wind sweeping through the house; a cleansing wind, a powerful wind. Much to everyone's amazement, tongues of fire appeared on the heads of those in the house. As they were filled with the Holy Spirit, they were not necessarily afraid, but we can imagine there might have been a little concern at the situation. They left the house, and emboldened by the power of the Spirit they began to preach, casting aside any immediate fears of arrest. Power. Peter, the same man who fifty days before had denied Jesus three times, now spoke with clarity, , Peter quoted three passages, all designed to point to the role of Jesus Christ as the Messiah.. What is the crowds' reaction to the miracle of Pentecost? ''Hey, these guys are drunk!'' This reaction is probably not too much different from the way people would react were this particular miracle repeated today. ''Hey look at these guys! What are they up to anyway?'' The public has a tough time with miracles in general, and even more so with this ''speaking in tongues'' miracle. But it was time for miracles, for a very visible miracle to demonstrate the power that the Holy Spirit brought into the lives of these apostles. Fire had always been, for the Jews, a symbol of God’s presence. John the Baptist prophesied that the Messiah would bring a baptism of fire. Fire

symbolized God’s purifying presence, which burnt away the undesirable elements of human lives and sets hearts aflame to ignite the lives of others. Fire, another potential danger. Every year, we worry about fires blazing out of control in Arizona, California, even in Texas, causing people to flee their homes. Nevertheless, fire can also be a very useful tool. We use it in various ways. Cooking, heating, in industry. It is hard to imagine where we would be without fire.

largest fire – October 26, 2003 SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- Untamed flames stoked by powerful winds raced through parts of Southern California, torching more than 208,000 acres, destroying 500 homes and causing at least 11 deaths in lest than 3 hours. Closing Pentecost means the Spirit is available. The violent rushing wind, the burning blaze - not for destruction, not for obliteration but for change, for transformation. Like precious metals in a fire, where the dross and impurities are melted away, like the burning bush where only the dead wood is consumed until we are as we were intended to be: pure and completely holy. One windy day a four year old girl asked her mother, “Mom, may I go out and play with the wind?” “Sure,” her mother replied, “Go have lots of fun.” And then out on the deck, the little girl twirled and swirled. She swung her arms and twisted dizzily. And friends, that is our task. The task of the Church is to breathe together at the Spirit’s command. But, let’s not forget to dance in the wind, too. After all, the wind is like air, only pushier! Amen.