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Add Spirit, Will Stir, Spur

There are many kinds, and meanings, of wind but in the wordplay of John 3:8 Jesus talks about the Wind, the Spirit of God, aka Breath. The late Rachel Held Evans –who by faith is still speaking-- describes the Spirit as “moving through every language and every culture of this world, bursting out of every category and defying every metaphor.” This is the often understated, or underestimated, power of Easter, still bursting through today, promised by Christ and underlined for us at Pentecost. Perhaps you see, feel, experience this Spirit around you, in you, over you, through you.

In seeking justice, I think of, and look to, Spirit often, try to pay attention to what God’s doing. Just now, we entered second pandemic Pentecost of COVID-19. Both coincident with, and also through what the pandemic’s exposed more clearly, the Spirit’s been evidently stirring the hearts and minds of people. (Witness local and international movement in recognizing systemic racism, the effects of white supremacy, whiteness, economic and health disparities, marginalizing of peoples, and which groups are most immediately affected by climate change.) I hope to take notice of such heightened awareness and change in some of summer blogs focusing on the Mission of God.

Noticing requires both the Spirit, and prayer, God gave us these to notice. The Holy Spirit is Breath, and prayer the air we breathe. We might well pray in everything; our lives are a spiritual journey, each step tracing a story of grace. We are not too quickly done discerning or listening; our lives a long obedience, continual transformation.

Then, what about evil? Surely we notice evil, say, gangs doing Surrey shootings? The shootings are not “of God,” but I believe God is in the shootings, right there, closer than we might think or feel. God knows our anguish. As Whitney Houston sang so clearly, God hears our cry, and Spirit groans with our spirit, ”pitied every groan.” Long as I live, trouble may rise. And Spirit is raising up a treasure trove of upstanders who stand up for what is well and just, and stand against that which is not at all well.

Wherever we are in our journey, there is more of God, more of God’s resources for our ability to respond to evil with good. God’s right there with us when we experience and resist evil, Spirit offering God and God’s loving resources. Elizabeth Sung reminds that Christ did daily spiritual strength training in and with the spiritual disciplines. By his example we can use these indirect means to receive God’s actions in and through us.

God’s doing the Easter rise-up God’s good at, always busy bringing new life out of death.

We work and wait, and our waiting has hope because we’re waiting on, and in God. Sadly, however, some people(s) have been told for too long to “wait.”

So we pray also with our feet.