Acts 2: 37-47
In the passage, Peter’s heart-felt sermon sounded very simple and its application seems very straightforward—just a three-step procedure—repent, be baptized, and receive the Spirit.
Are we sure that we can explain enough about what we do as believers with this three-step process in our faith journey? Don’t we have more complicated issues to receive the Holy Spirit?
Actually, we cannot easily define what these three steps may look like because these steps may differ from church to church. I believe Peter told them how they should prepare themselves to receive the Holy Spirit and that preparation should also apply to us.
If we want to know what we should do: repent, return, revise, reinvent ourselves, and reorient our lives. Revise everything we ever thought we knew about who is in charge in this world, not the authorities nor ourselves. Get ready to reinvent all our notions about what makes someone great, or right, or worthy of our attention. If we think we know how things should turn out in the end, get ready to be wrong.
Then go and find the way to celebrate our reorientation of our lives by water and the Spirit.
The last thing, or might be the first thing, is to receive the Holy Spirit. I know some people call it intuition. Others name it inspiration. But the church has called it the Holy Spirit.
What we are reminded by the passage is that the Spirit is a breath, God’s breath. The only thing we can do is keep breathing, keep paying attention, keep being grateful and thankful, and keep responding to whatever crazy idea we come up with next.
Last week, Pentecost Sunday, we celebrated together and witnessed how this church has been transforming and how diverse we are now. “What should we do now?”
I invite us to the three steps that Peter preached in the passage—repent, be baptized, and receive the Spirit. These are not a one-time event. Rather it should be a life-long event in our faith journey to keep reorienting our lives; by continuing to invent our relationship between God and us; and by continuing to breathe God’s hope and love into a fragmented world.
Then, who knows?
This church and we all may take the lead role in writing a God’s story here in a small town in Western Texas, even if it sounds like a fairy tale—“Day by day, the Lord adds to our numbers those who are being saved.”