God’s Holy Spirit is at once likened to wind and fire. A wind can refresh and destroy. Fire can yield warmth and safety and can reduce everything to ashes. What odd and contrasting powers attributed to the simple and elegant dove, as the Holy Spirit is often depicted in art. Well, not a dove in Celtic Christianity, but a wild goose. Sure, it’s all pleasant and majestic --- at a distance. But, up close the goose is an annoyance and impossible to control.
To some extent I suppose we all long for the Holy Spirit. We think that she will be warm, refreshing and majestic. But then reality sinks in. The Holy Spirit becomes demanding and quite willing to destroy what was in favour of what God intends. The Holy Spirit is the harbinger of change. CHANGE!
Changes the way we relate God --- I belong to God, but God belongs to no one. I need God. Changes the way we relate to others --- I belong to God, but so does everyone else. I need everyone else. Changes the way we relate to creation --- there is no other place, God is here. I need creation.
God has blessed us with memory, reason and skill which means we can feel the pain that someone else feels. No matter how hard we try and change our ability to have empathy we still have it. No matter how hard we try and ignore those feeling we know we are called to compassion, to act on our higher selves to achieve what is best for our neighbor.
A people so transformed by the wild presence of God’s Holy Spirit cannot help but do what needs to be done to end war and poverty, to safeguard the integrity of creation and to protect the most vulnerable parts of creation: people and places.