Wednesday, November 04, 2009

“Who, What & When”

Today's reading - Acts 11:11-18 (NIV): 11"Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I was staying. 12The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man's house.

13He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say, 'Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. 14He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.'

15"As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning.

16Then I remembered what the Lord had said: 'John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' 17So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?"

18When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, "So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life."

Spirit, angel, message, saved, came on them – these are the words that stick out to me today as I read this passage. I am wondering what I am meant to learn by having specific words stick out rather than a single message. Maybe I need to understand how each of them relate to each other.

What do the words have in common? I think it is the what, why and how’s that tie them together. What = spirit came upon them; Why = because God was sending a message; and How = the angel appeared in the home of a gentile.

The only thing that remains then is Who, When & Where. Since no particular words stuck out to me about who, when & where, I’m going to apply them to church today. Who should be in church, when and where? Good question.

I think the unchurched will be the who, at least one unchurched person every Sunday and the Where is in every United Methodist Church in the world. When this happens, and I believe it will, there will definitely be a baptism of the Holy Spirit as on the day of Pentecost. With this happening weekly in our congregations the Lord will be rejoicing as He witnesses the fulfillment of the great commission.

What part do you play in this baptism?

Dorothy Drago Brucks
Aldersgate UMC
Nixa, Mo.

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