May 27, 2009

The Hand of God

It is pretty easy for me to think of the Holy Spirit as wind/the breath of God.  The Pentecost story from Acts 2 is the preeminant image of the Spirit in my mind.  It was further bolstered by the etheral nature of the third person of the Trinity in William Paul Young's The Shack.

For some reason, though, this week I'm drawn to the Ezekiel lesson this Pentecost.  I'm preaching a sermon for the summer staff at Camp Beckwith as they have their first service of Holy Eucharist together as summer staff.  I've been asked to preach around the gift of the Spirit for common mission, and Ezekiel is popping up over and over because of the other image of the Spirit in this text - the hand of God.

I've always sort of antropomorphized the hand of God as the hand of the Father, but this week I'm wondering if it might not be a manifestation of the Spirit as she guides and directs (and occassionally actually picks up and flings) those who seek after the will of God.  I'm not sure it makes a big difference if it the Father's hand or the Spirit as a hand since they are all the one God, but it is, for me, a helpful way of rethinking the Spirit as Pentecost arrives - helpful in that it is easier for me as a concrete linear thinker non-sailer to see the Spirit guiding by hand rather than pushing the sail of my boat around.  Anyway, nothing profound today, just where I am.

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