"Love! Do you know the meaning of the word?" 'How should I not?' said the Lady, 'I am in love...in Love Himself.'
~C.S. Lewis
The Great Divorce

Saturday, December 19, 2009


"Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live." (Ez. 37:9)

As I sit at my table watching the developing blizzard conditions here in Northern Maryland, I am struck not only by the snow, but the quite strong winds which seem to change direction every few minutes. The wind calls to mind many famous passages from Scripture, particularly the account of Pentecost and Jesus' discourse with Nicodemus.

But I was thinking also this morning about the above passage from the prophecy of Ezekiel. In many ancient languages, indeed in several modern ones, the words for Wind, Breath, and Spirit are the same. Ruach (Hebrew), Pneuma (Greek), and Anima (Latin). Thus when it is written "say to the wind" it would be every bit as accurate to translate the Hebrew, "say to the Spirit." As we confess in the Creed, "I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and GIVER OF LIFE," this should be a passage of Scripture which comes to mind. The prophet is set down in a valley of dry bones and the Lord asks him if the bones can live again. Ezekiel calls to the Wind and it comes down and brings new life to the bones. A few verses further down these bones are identified as the "whole house of Israel." But the miracle and beauty of this passage are not limited to the geographic bounds of Israel. The afore quoted verse which speaks of the Spirit coming from the four winds, indicates that the life this Spirit gives is for everyone in the world. If you live in the Mid-Atlantic or Northeast today, let the snow remind you of the purity with which we are infused because of Christ. But also let the wind remind you of the Holy Spirit's operation in applying Jesus Christ's grace to our hearts and making us alive. Call to mind the sheer power of this operation to create life where there wasn't any. After all, it is also at this time of year that we remember the power of the Holy Ghost overshadowing the noble Virgin and creating in her the humanity of God's only-begotten Son.

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