Fresh air or hot air?

Preachers are frequently accused of generating hot air, which is why I often get to use the picture I took below when training others:

What about fresh air, though? Shouldn’t our words come as a breath of fresh air, throwing open the window and letting God’s wonderfully disruptive Spirit in to upset our certainties and ruffle our feathers? Some years ago, writing about the first Pentecost, I described it like this:

In through every window and funnelled down every alley it came.It rattled and whistled and ruffled wherever it went. A curtain was torn from its mounting here, a jar toppled from its table in the street there – shattering in a hundred un-noticed pieces.A barking dog flattened its ears and whined at this strange phenomenon. A child stuck out his pudgy arm to feel it, only to be snatched back by his protective mother. The robes of the priests flapped round the grey heads of their wearers and wrapped them up like clowns in a show.Many cowered, shielding eyes and faces from the dust. Jerusalem had never been like this before. You can find the rest of this in Stale Bread.

Last night I saw a television advert which advertised an air freshener fragrance entitled…’open windows’! Am I missing something? Surely there is an easier way to achieve that particular fragrance? Preachers – make sure you keep the windows open when you preach!

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