Scripture Reflections

May 23: Pentecost Sunday

Posted by Campus Ministry on Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 8:00 AM PDT

A palm tree sways in the wind in a photograph with the sun rising over a mountain town with houses in the background

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Suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind

In Paul Simon’s song, Graceland, he sings, “Everybody feels the wind blow.” True enough.

But what’s up with wind? We all feel it blow. We all see it blow. In my own experience, the wind even exerts a sort of subconscious—yet powerful—influence over my mood and feelings. A gusty morning gives me a sort of dreary feeling, while a slow afternoon breeze can lend an elevating mood. The evidence of the wind’s effects on the spirits of human beings permeates our collective culture and art. Paul Simon’s Graceland is just the tip of the iceberg.

 Do you ever wish the Spirit came to you like a gust of wind from the heavens? … I do. If you are a similar human to me, you are probably attracted to the dramatic tension of the wind on a stormy night, and also the dramatic tension of the “winds of change”—that is to say, the excitement of a movement. This Pentecost, we near the anniversary of the movement against the carceral state, as ignited by the murder of George Floyd. That movement hit me like a strong driving wind from the heavens. But winds subside.

 “And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”

 Ah… We carry the wind with us. We carry the wind of Christ with us with each passing breath. The Holy Spirit comes like a strong driving wind, but also in the breath of Christ. The breath of a friend, of a mentor, of our God. The winds of change blow in like a passing storm, but the breath of Christ remains. It remains in community leaders, in organizers, in our preachers and philosophizers. It remains in Indigenous and Black communities. It remains in Black womxn and womxn of color especially.

 Let this Pentecost be a call to hold up the breath, the work, the voices of all of those in our communities—especially those who are not historically held up, and especially those who are doing the most for Christ—whether explicitly in his name, or not.

Nate Ross, B.S. in Biology, Class of 2021