Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
“Suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire housevwhere they were sitting.” (Acts 2:1-4)
This passage is from the Sunday of Pentecost, which happens 50 days after Easter (June 9th this year). Every time I see news reports about communities that experience tornadoes, I think about this verse. Personally I have only experienced the aftermath of tornadoes: seeing the trees down, the pieces of homes/buildings torn from the frame structures etc., the mess of vehicles turned sideways or upside down, yard items and items from inside people’s homes strewn hither and dither. The devastating effects that tornado storms have on people is what makes my heart ache the most. Somehow those people forge on into the future with the memory of that violent storm etched into their very beings.
Similarly, what must it have meant for the people in the scripture passage who experienced this sound like the rush of violent wind filling the entire house? Their lives must have changed in both large and small ways because of this experience expressed in scripture. Indeed, the Holy Spirit does find ways of impacting us as well. How often do we take the time to consider the impact the Holy Spirit has on our lives as it moves in and through us? Sometimes, this happens without our knowing …much like the breaths we take automatically, without realizing it is happening each moment of our life. Other times, we are aware of the Holy Spirit moving through us in the ministries we carry out, the love we share with others and them with us, and in our worship and fellowship. We are blessed to be in community with one another gathered into one body of Christ, near and far across the globe.
If you are so inclined and would like to donate to the ELCA Disaster Response and want to help bring newness of life to those across the globe who are trying to survive in an area devastated by the powers of tornadoes and/or other natural disasters, here is the information below. Hopefully we can help those folks experience the Holy Spirit in a positive way in their time of great need.
Give through your congregation or send your check directly to:
ELCA Disaster Response
39330 Treasury Center
Chicago, IL 60694-9300
Write “U.S. Severe Storms” or “Where needed most” on your check’s memo line.