Jesus said, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth.”
So it is with the sign of the times at the First United Methodist Church in Perry, where messages born of the spirit come and go like the wind.
“Such a fun sesquicentennial weekend! Thanks for coming,” the sign proclaimed this week in the wake of the Perry Sesquicentennial Celebrations. In the weeks before was a quotation by one Cooper Galivan, perhaps one of the doctors of Wesleyan theology:
“I believe that you should do good things and not expect things in return. –Cooper Galivan”
The messages are generally uplifting, always edifying and sometimes didactic, as in this May message:
“Are you fearful or hateful? Hate stems from fear, fear of the unknown. Education is the answer.”
Like a tongue of fire, the fruits of such a spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and self-control or self-overcoming. In the traditional view, the spirit is to the flesh as the evening breeze is to the trembling trees.
The symbol appears everywhere. For instance, J. J. Cale sang, “They call me the breeze. I keep blowing down the road. / I ain’t got me nobody. I ain’t carrying me no load.”