Last week in my series On the Lord’s Prayer, I discussed how following God is involvement in his will, demanding both informed and intuitive but decisive movement. I broke down, briefly, what those parts meant, but wanted to explore some further thoughts on the trope of movement we are using to understand what it means to follow God.
FRAMING REDEMPTIVE MOVEMENT
The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. ~ Jesus to Nicodemus
Bear with me; I believe this verse can help us frame movement, because it hints at where we came from, where we are going, and life in the middle, but retains the metaphorical quality that opens our mind to deep consideration. One on hand, Jesus is saying to Nicodemus that, to him, those born of the Spirit are a mystery, because he lacks understanding. On the other hand, we could say that the wind knows where it came from, and where it is going — so it ought to be with us. Moving in God’s will requires we realize we are born of God, we are returning to God, and we are made to impact our world.
Jesus came from God and returned to God. When he was here, he died and resurrected, granting us new life. Our baptism imparted that new life to us, so we died to the world, were born of God and began our journey back to God. Thus, we are sojourners, strangers, aliens in this world. This is not our home. We are going home. Yet, we are in the world and must make our way here. So we live in tension – I am here, yet not here; I am living here, but this is not my home; we long to be home, yet we know it is better we stay here.
Why? I referenced Paul above because he hits on it: our redemption is for more than ourselves, it is for all creation. Several verses have framed my thinking on this, notably Isaiah 49:6, Colossians 1:20, Ephesians 1:9-10 and Romans 8:18-23. I am convinced God has decided it is too small a thing for him to just save us, he wants to redeem all of creation through Jesus’ sacrifice. And he wants to do it through the sons and daughters of God.
Jesus says the wind blows where it wills. So we must ask what will our impact be? A gentle breeze can feel like a kiss on the cheek and make one smile, or it can tear down a house and bring pain and tears. A weak breeze does nothing to soothe those suffering in the heat, but a strong wind can knock down a wall of injustice or the prideful off their feet.
There is little question what kind of wind we should be. We should be a redeeming wind. Consider the pic above — wind can change the shape of a tree or cut through landscape. Wind can change things, and so we must be.
So movement is framed: as sojourners in this world, born of God and returning to Him, we are responsible in this world to bring redemption wherever and however we can. In some following posts, I’ll dig further into what a redeeming wind, or redemptive movement, as I’ll call it, means.