Joel 2:28-29

The word spirit in verse 28 can also be translated “wind” or “breath”. This is the same word that describes the powerful wind that parts the Red Sea in Exodus 14-15. This wind of protection that delivers the Hebrew people from a ravaging army and places them safely on the other side of the sea is the same spirit that Joel says God will pour out . . . on all flesh
(v. 28), irrespective of gender, age, or social status.

God’s wind, God’s spirit of deliverance will create equality and equity among those who have only known difference, and call everyone to prophesy, dream, and envision. Joel does not spell out the content of these prophecies, dreams, and visions, so we are left to imagine them. The stark turn from darkness to light in this chapter leaves us to imagine that these prophecies, dreams, and visions will lead us to a future that is better and brighter. Such possibilities are certainly rooted in the transformational spirit that God will pour out. This poured out spirit, this transforming wind, this literal breath from God will create the love and justice and beauty of God within all creation.

Once we experience this spirit and receive those visions and dreams, we can begin to live into them. God’s vision of a just and loving world shows us how we can take part in transforming the world. As the breath of God blew the Red Sea in half, this same spirit is in us, pushing us into actions that feed the hungry, cloth the freezing, and set the prisoners free. This same spirit of God continues to be poured out on all flesh. God’s Spirit compels all of us to participate in God’s work in this world through works of mercy, acts of forgiveness, and labors of love.


How is the wind of Exodus and the Spirit that Joel describes being poured out on you? What is God’s Spirit pushing you to do?


God, fill us with your Spirit, that we may envision your work in the world and know the joy of doing it. Amen.

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