Imagine four people.

Each is given a large glass jar.

Each, in turn, is instructed to return one with water, one with fire, one with earth, and one with wind in their respective jars.

Two return with their jars filled; two however return with their jars empty.

You can capture earth, and you can capture water.

Fire and wind remain elusive.

Yet, these are the two images used by the author of the Acts of Apostles to describe God’s Spirit.

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.

“Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.

“They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” (Acts 2: 1 – 4)

Greek philosophy supposed the Universe to comprise four elements: Fire, Water, Earth, and Air.

These are well-known and yet unknown realities.

Of the four elements only earth has fixed shapes; and in the long run, even these shapes are not fixed (remember liquefaction?

A word that was added to many a vocabulary with the occasion of the Christchurch earthquake!)

In Hebrew and Aramaic, scholars tell us, the same word means ‘spirit’, ‘breath’, and ‘wind’. This word is “ruah”.

Fire and wind as earth elements can at times be devastating. We only need remember the horror of bush fires raging and of cyclonic winds.

I, and no doubt others, so want to tame God’s Spirit; to make this Energy acceptable!

In doing so maybe we are attempting to suck God’s life out of God!

It may be time we put our glass jar away and refrain from catching our God! The “elusive one” is not for catching!

The alternative to “catching” is “being caught”.

That is what happened that first Pentecost day – may it continue today!