The Importance of Flying a Kite (as given to the United Methodist Women of the Atlanta Marietta District “Day Apart” 2016)
John 3.5–8 NIV
5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”
Its an honor to bring words of life and encouragement today. I want to thank you for representing the vitality that the UMW has brought to the UMC so for many years. You truly area lifeboat in areas of faith, fellowship, and service and so many of us are indebted to your involvement and perseverance.
The Scripture and theme that were chosen for today spoke to me (“a fresh wind blowing”). I believe we’re living in a type of “last days,” where a true and stern commitment to faith is both criticized and discouraged. Christian Faith today is seen as divisive and exclusive because we hold to ideals and beliefs that come from God and His word. The Christian Faith is indeed exclusive, in that requires us to exclude sin and the ways of the world from our lives. Our faith calls us to take on the holiness and ways of the kingdom of God, and those run contrary to the views and ideals of the world.
Catholic author G.K. Chesterton said in his book The Everlasting Man, “A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” Chesterton saw very clearly that the world is dead through sin and that in that sin it would continue to flow with the current of death. But through Christ, the One who has defeated death, we find life and through the Living Christ we can successfully live against the deathly current.
And now the question is, if we’re living in a sort of ‘last days’, with a current of death carrying us downstream, how do we become the living things that swim against the current? Well, honestly, we fly a kite. I don’t know how much experience you have with flying kites but I have the most wonderful memories of it. I vividly remember going to my uncle’s farm and flying our kites in the pasture in front of his farmhouse. We would situate ourselves in the pasture below the bluff so that the wind would rush down and catch our kites fast, hoisting them up without any effort at all. It didn’t take much. The only trick was being in the right place to catch the wind. You had to watch the trees, as the branch tops bent in the rushing force, and then follow it to the grass as it headed toward you. Once you caught it, you ran into it and the push of wind would take the kite straight up!
In a culture of death, we need to understand the importantance of flying a kite, of catching the Holy Spirit as He blows where He wills. Only through the fresh wind of the Spirit will there be both new life and re-newed life. The Spirit of God is moving—in our churches, our classes, our services, our missions—and we who are the faithful need to fly our kites, hoist our sails, and catch the Spirit, harnessing His power for both the current generation and the generations to come. This is something that the saints who came before us did, as evidenced by our being here today.
We have a great burden of responsibility in front of us. We must not only do what those before us did, but we must do so in the face of great evils, sins, and distractions. The people of today are pulled in more directions than ever before. They are inundated by an innumerable barrage of competing voices. We must learn from Elijah, who through the tumult of storm, quake and fire felt the gentle, blowing, holy breeze; heard the still, small, whispering voice of God. If we will be people of the Spirit, then we can fly our kites (faith) that harness the power of the Wind and be flying beacons that witness to life.
I hope you’ll join me in understanding the importance of flying a kite today. I pray you will be moved and raised by the Blowing Spirit of God and that you will be a fresh wind of life for a generation that is perishing. Amen.