Read: The Spirit is Moving!
All the way back to my childhood, one of my favorite hymns has been, “Breathe on me, Breath of God.” Maybe that is why the image of the Holy Spirit as breath (wind) has been a positive one. McLaren’s chapter is an excellent overview of this notion of the Spirit.
And as has often happened as I have read this book along with you, I made a new discovery. I had not seen the crucifixion, burial, resurrection scenario in Peter’s sermon as a template for understanding and experiencing Pentecost. But now I do.
The disciples and those who heard Peter preach could not be filled until they were emptied. They could not come alive to God until they had died to self. The first Pentecost day and the Pentecost Sunday we celebrated yesterday commemorate the same spiritual journey that gave life to the first Christians, and gives life to us today.
In my tradition (it doesn’t happen every year), Pentecost Sunday and Aldersgate Sunday were both yesterday. Aldersgate Sunday commemorates John Wesley’s pentecostal experience at 8:45 in the evening of May 24th, 1738 at the Fetter Lane Society on Aldersgate Street in London.
As in Acts 2, the fire of the Spirit moved upon John Wesley so that felt his heart “strangely warmed.” The Wind of the Spirit blew into his life removing the dust of spiritual aridity which had covered his journey for several years.
The same pattern McLaren described was confirmed in Wesley’s life. And the same in-spiration awaits any upon whom the Spirit breathes.
“Breathe on me, Breath of God
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what Thou dost love,
And do what Thou wouldst do.”