29 “Brothers and sisters, I can speak confidently about the patriarch David. He died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this very day. 30 Because he was a prophet, he knew that God promised him with a solemn pledge to seat one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Having seen this beforehand, David spoke about the resurrection of Christ, that he wasn’t abandoned to the grave, nor did his body experience decay. 32 This Jesus God raised up. We are all witnesses to that fact. 33 He was exalted to God’s right side and received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit. He poured out this Spirit, and you are seeing and hearing the results of his having done so. 34 David didn’t ascend into heaven. Yet he says,
The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right side,
35 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’
36 “Therefore, let all Israel know beyond question that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
37 When the crowd heard this, they were deeply troubled. They said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Change your hearts and lives. Each of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
I’m sitting on the porch watching the wind spinner in my garden move in the wind. It’s shaped like a big flower with it’s many rainbow colored petals and it’s sitting completely still. Then the wind blows and the petals move together, as one, spinning in the direction the wind has blown them. So it is with the Holy Spirit. We are waiting, stationary, and then the Spirit unites us to move together, as a community of faith, to show God’s love to the world.
In today’s story, we can hardly believe this is the same Peter who denied Jesus three times, abandoned him to be crucified, and hid from the authorities after Jesus’ death. Now he is out preaching the good news in Jerusalem, empowered by the Holy Spirit. The power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus had promised to the disciples transformed Peter, and was at work in Peter’s words. The assembled crowd was deeply troubled by the truth of Peter’s words and asked, “what shall we do?”
Peter’s call is to all of us, to repent, to change our hearts and lives and to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. Baptism publicly announces that we have new life in Christ and that we are followers of Jesus. Our church community participates in our baptism and we receive the promise, “the gift of the Holy Spirit.” The Spirit brought the church into being at Pentecost. And the Spirit is always working in us, perfecting us in love and providing us with spiritual gifts, guidance, comfort and strength.
by Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Jesus’ promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit at baptism unites us in community, and is proof that God loves all people. The Holy Spirit unites all of us, many diverse peoples from many nations, into the community of faith, the universal church. Together, moved and transformed by the Spirit, we can tell the story of God’s love for us through Jesus to serve and love God and others together.
Do you feel the movement of the Spirit in your life or are you in a season of sitting and waiting? How is the Spirit moving and guiding you into a new direction in your own life, and in the life of your church?
Prayer: Loving God, thank you for the gift of your Spirit to us and to all people uniting us in community. Holy Spirit move among us that we may proclaim the love of God, through Jesus Christ our savior, to all the world. Amen.