While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell on everyone who heard the word. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. They heard them speaking in other languages and praising God. Peter asked, “These people have received the Holy Spirit just as we have. Surely no one can stop them from being baptized with water, can they?” He directed that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited Peter to stay for several days. (Acts 10:44-48, CEB)
This is the story of Peter visiting Cornelius and talking with him and his household about God and the story of Jesus. While Peter was talking to them, they were baptized with the Spirit.
As Lutherans we have in our baptismal service a portion where we say the baptism of the Holy Spirit comes, the pastor says as the mark the sign of the cross on the baptized’s forehead, “Child of God, you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever.” I have always loved this part of the service but also wondered if we could say this is when the Holy Spirit comes. We want to say we understand God and everything God does and saying this is when the baptism of the Holy Spirit happens we get to control God, but the reading above shows us that God does things God’s way and not the neat way we want it to happen.
Know that you can’t control God or the things that God wants to happen.
Let go and know that God is God and you are not.
Loving People. Loving God.