At the coming of Jesus, the Holy Spirit of God — one of the key promises of the New Covenant — burst on the scene like a breath of fresh air. His presence was everywhere. The Spirit came with power and conceived Jesus in the womb of Mary. The Spirit was present with John the Baptist from his mother's womb, so John leaped for joy inside his mother's womb when the newly pregnant Mary came to see her. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth affirmed Mary's faith and praised God. The Spirit broke Gabriel's imposed silence of Zechariah and inspired the old priest's great proclamation of praise and joy. The Spirit lead, convinced, and inspired Simeon to meet and praise God's Messiah, baby Jesus, in the Temple. The Spirit came upon Jesus and empowered him for his ministry. The weather had definitely changed!
Luke helps us feel the cool breeze of God's refreshing Spirit as He wafts His way through the hearts of God's people. The Old Testament prophets had spoken of this special time: God's Holy Wind, his Powerful Breath, his Comforting Spirit would blow through God's holy people and begin a new day, a new age, and the New Covenant. (The word spirit, breath, and wind are all translated by one key word in both Hebrew and Greek.) Luke wants us to know God's refreshing Breeze has begun to blow!
This Breeze was for all who became children of God (Acts 2:38-39; Acts 5:32; cf. Romans 8:1-16). This Breath of God was poured out by Jesus upon all who became Christians (Acts 2:33; Titus 3:3-7), born of water and Spirit (Acts 2:38; John 3:3-7). The presence of this Wind insured that everything would be different and refreshingly new (Acts 3:18-19; Acts 5:22). Most importantly, this change in the weather assured us that we could be changed as well (Acts 2:38-39; Acts 9:17-22; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
So as we gather around and tell stories of baby Jesus, wise men from the East, shepherds in their fields, mean old Herod in his palace, and a long journey for a couple expecting their first baby, let's not forget the weather! You see, God sent one glorious new air mass, pushed through by his mighty, refreshing, and Holy Wind. This Breeze from heaven's grace started the events that gave Mary a baby and changed everything for you and me! So while Bing Crosby may have dreamed of a white Christmas, God preferred to send his refreshing, mighty, holy Wind, the Breath of Heaven, and brought us new life and fresh hope.
As we welcome Christmas and look ahead to the New Year, I want to invite you to be part of a new daily email devotional called, Renewal: New Life through God's Holy Fire. It is free and will be sent to you every day via email and available online at Heartlight. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and join many others who are going to be praying daily for God's Holy Fire, the Breath of Heaven, to fill us, purify us, and empower us to live for Jesus.