Object Lesson: The Wind Blows Where It Will

Gospel for this Sunday (June 3, 2012). John 3:1-17

“The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Object: With children, precut a paper pinwheel and pin it to a straw. With adults, plug in an electric fan.

Talking points: Wind is a wonder. On a hot summer day, we turn our faces toward the wind for relief. Come winter, we shield our faces behind our mufflers. We know there is power in the wind and we try to harness it. We try to create comfort in our environment by adding air conditioning or directing fans. We build windmills on top of our hills to channel its power. Now and then, when storms blast and break the limbs of our trees or tear off the roofs of our firmly constructed homes, we are reminded that the wind is more powerful than we are.

Wind is a challenge to us. There is little we can do to control it — but still we try! “So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus joined Jesus in the night on the roof garden, just trying to make sense of things. He was an old man, a respected authority on scripture. New ideas were turning his world upside down like a tornado. The rooftop garden was a good meeting place, away from public scrutiny. But in the hot Palestine night, it was probably a place where Jesus hoped Nicodemus would feel the gentle—or not-so-gentle—breeze of the Holy Spirit.