In a nutshell, this is Pentecost, or at least, the most intriguing detail of the famous Acts story. But too often this significant detail gets lost in the celebration of rushing wind, fiery tongues and the so-called birth of the church.
With every cycle of our respiratory systems, we are sustained by the same intimate inspiration God exhaled into Adam’s muddy lungs. That breath permeates every cell of our being, nose to toes, invigorating our bodies and minds and souls until it is ready to be released, silently, from the same nostrils through which it came.
This is as ordinary as oxygen and carbon dioxide, and as extraordinary as spirit and miracle.
By the time I was admitted to the maternity ward and lashed to a bed with an IV line, my labor had progressed. With each contraction I felt as though the pain would suffocate me. When the nurse suggested she should call the anesthesiologist, I reluctantly agreed.
In my church we've been exploring the idea that God is fully present in each person of the Trinity. Recently our focus has been on the Holy Spirit. On Trinity Sunday, a week after Pentecost, it might be fruitful to consider the implications of this full presence of God in the Spirit.
It's commonly suggested that the Pentecost story is a reversal of the chaotic separation of the Tower of Babel. That point gets debated. What isn't debatable is that people remain separated in abundant ways.