Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:38-39, NIV).
A commenter on a recent post reminded me of Acts 2:38.
It gave me some thoughts from a pastoral perspective.
Most of the men, women, and children in the two churches I serve have been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Peter says that means they have received the Holy Spirit. The promise has been given to them, young and old, child and adult. Yes, even infants. The gift has been given.
Which means it is in there still. Like an ember smoldering, it is there, waiting to be stoked into a flame.
It is there in the members of the church who seem the most cold. It is there in the ones who seem to go out of their way to give Jesus a bad name. It is there in the ones who seem to have been so battered and bruised. It is there in the ones who seem on the outside like they have everything under control. It is there in the ones who bear the burden of keeping the church door open every Sunday.
The gift has been given, the Holy Spirit, waiting and working by slow degrees, ready to blaze forth.
Lord, put in my hands the bellows to blow those embers into flame.