Balloons remind us to soar with the spirit
The Balloons Over Waikato Festival is a major icon in Waikato’s civic calendar and New Zealand’s premier hot air ballooning event.
This year 35 balloons took part in the spectacular five-day event which went from April 14-18. They included teams from Australia, the US and Holland.
Among the feature balloons were a 42 metre high sun-shaped balloon and Europe’s largest shaped balloon, a 46 metre high rooster.
Minister at Chartwell Co-operating Parish Rev Alan Leadley says when the festival began eight years ago it coincided with Pentecost, which marks the occasion when Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit on his disciples.
“The terms spirit, wind and breath are almost interchangeable in the language of the Bible. The balloons seemed to be an apt metaphor for us to rise and drift with the spirit and to be flexible and open to what the spirit is telling us.
“At any point institutions can get stuck. The Lords death occurred because the authorities were stuck and they didn’t know how to deal with this new man who strode through Palestine in a new way.
“Individuals can also get stuck in the past or in their trauma or grief. The image of the balloon is a good one. It reminds us to be open to the spirit of God, to be pilgrimage people and journey with God though we are not certain where that journey will end.”