In thinking about Pentecost this week, and the work of the Spirit, I remembered a word I learned a couple of years ago. Zephyr! It’s a gentle breeze. And in looking back at my notes, I found a few quotes that resonated with me.
When the Holy Spirit was first poured out and the church brought to life, there were three signs – wind, fire, and inspired speech. The wind itself is not described but the sound of the wind was violent, loud, and forceful.
In scripture, the word for the Spirit means breath or wind. In Greek, the word is pneuma – the breath of life. John’s gospel describes this beautifully – Jesus draws close to His disciples, breathes on them, and tells them to receive the Holy Spirit. As Rev. William Evans points out, the Spirit can be both a fierce wind and a summer breeze.
The Spirit comes in the fierce east wind with its keen, biting blast of death. He comes also in the summer zephyr, which brings life and beauty.Rev. William Evans
Oswald Chambers – the Spirit’s gentle ways
“The voice of the Spirit is as gentle as a zephyr, so gentle that unless you are living in perfect communion with God, you never hear it. The checks of the Spirit come in the most extraordinarily gentle ways, and if you are not sensitive enough to detect His voice you will quench it, and your personal spiritual life will be impaired.”Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, August 13
Charles Spurgeon – the Spirit comes softly
Nothing can be more potent than the wind when it is thoroughly roused, and so, though the Spirit of God be despised among men, so much so that they do not even believe in his existence, yet let him work with the fulness of his power, and you will see what he can do. He comes softly, breathing like a gentle zephyr, which fans the flowers, but does not dislodge the insect of most gauzy wing, and our hearts are comforted. He comes like a stirring breeze, and we are quickened to a livelier diligence: our sails are hoisted and we fly before the gale.Charles H. Spurgeon, The Pentecostal Wind and Fire, September 18, 1881
Here we note that the Holy Spirit has a sword. He is quiet as the dew, tender as the anointing oil, soft as the zephyr of eventide, and peaceful as a doveCharles H. Spurgeon, Sermon 2201, April 19, 1891
While I love soft breezes … I love the breath of the Spirit more!
Of the Father’s heart begottenHymn by Marcus Aurelius Clemens Prudentius
Ere the world from chaos rose,
He is Alpha: from that Fountain,
All that is and hath been flows;
He is Omega, of all things
Yet to come the mystic Close,
Evermore and evermore.
Let the storm and summer sunshine,
Gliding stream and sounding shore,
Sea and forest, frost and zephyr,
Day and night their Lord alone;
Let creation join to laud thee
Through the ages evermore,
Evermore and evermore. Amen.