This week’s devotions are based on Sunday’s Pentecost Message – Week 7 of Win the Day “Seed the Clouds!” (LISTEN HERE)
For nearly 80 years, individuals have been trying to find ways to manipulate the weather to get more precipitation out of the clouds to increase the rain or snow production of a given system. The first individual to fly a plane into a cloud was Vincent Schaefer in November of 1946. After experimenting in freezer on the ground, he took his theory to the air where he released 6 pounds of dry ice crystals into a cloud. Observers on the ground indicated a significant increase in snow production. Others would challenge the results.
The goal was to put a catalyst into a cloud that would bring rain on drought ridden lands. Since 1946, efforts still are ongoing to seed the clouds and bring rain to the earth.
As we wrap up the series of “Win the Day” we can make practical application to areas of life where we initiate activity today that brings a result tomorrow. As one podcaster put it, “What does your future self want you to be doing today?”
However, this past Sunday was the festival of Pentecost in the church year. In many ways, the work of God’s Spirit is to seed the clouds with the catalyst of the Gospel. The Gospel proclaimed at times brings immediate results, but sometimes the return isn’t realized right away.
Pentecost was a festival that occurred 50 days after Pentecost. While the festival dated back to the time of Moses, the significance of the day for Christians occurred 10 days after Jesus ascended back into heaven.
The followers of Jesus had spent those 10 days in a home in Jerusalem, waiting for the promise Jesus had given that the Holy Spirit would come on them. In this week and a half they chose Matthias to replace Judas and waited.
Then he came on the day of Pentecost when people from all over the world were gathered in Jerusalem. Why then?
Of course it was God’s perfect timing. However, here’s a reflection. To seed a cloud, the cloud has to gather. To seed a cloud you have to fly into the cloud to deposit the catalyst to make it rain. I have flown throughs some storm clouds in a commercial airliner. If I were a pilot, I would try to avoid the chaos and tumult of a storm cloud. But to seed the cloud, a storm cloud has to be present. You can’t seed a cloud that doesn’t exist.
Pentecost was God’s perfect timing. However, if I was one of the disciples it may have been a bit more chaotic than I was willing to fly into. Just fifty days earlier the religious officials presided over Jesus’ conviction and crucifixion. I don’t think they had left town. God-fearing Jews from all over the known world had come. Perhaps some had heard of Jesus. Perhaps some had been part of the crowd fifty days earlier. The crowd had the religiously confused and those convinced Jesus was good to get rid of. Perhaps it was a crowd that would not be fully receptive to the fact they crucified the Messiah. There were those who began the rumor that the disciples were drunk. Those that were dismissive and wanted to “cancel” the disciples before they even had a chance. Not always a fun conversation to engage with the hecklers.
But it was this cloud that provided the opportunity for the Gospel to be seeded. So the Spirit flew the disciples right into the cloud so they could drop the catalyst of the Gospel.
Do we have similar situation today? Maybe not exactly, but one might say you have those that stand opposed to anything Jesus and would be OK if he was dead for good. You have people confused by various religions who may know something about Jesus, but not much. And you have hecklers that want to in a quick post dismiss anything that Christians say or do as hypocritical, dumb, or out of touch.
But it’s the cloud into which the Spirit is flying us to seed with the Gospel.
Because without the cloud, seeding the cloud doesn’t work. You are right where the Spirit of God wants you to be to seed the cloud with the catalyst of the Gospel.
Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,[b] 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”
Apply: What is in the “cloud” around you? Why might God’s Spirit have you there with the seed of the Gospel?
Prayer: Spirit of God, thank you for flying me into the very cloud you desire me to seed with the Gospel. AMEN.