Day 22 Sacred Season 2015

Day 22 Sacred Season 2015

day 22DAY 22.  30th June  Baptized with fire  Luke 3:15-17,   Rev Dr Dean Drayton

Past President of the Uniting Church

John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (Luke 3:16 NIV)

 Basis of Union Paragraph 7:.  “Baptism into Christ’s body initiates people into Christ’s life and mission in the world, so they are united in one fellowship of love, service, suffering and joy, in one family of the Father of all in heaven and earth, and in the power of the one Spirit.”

  “As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying ‘I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thongs of his sandals.   He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.   His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.’”

 There are powerful historical memories here that John is including in his declaration.   The temple in Jerusalem was built on a threshing floor on Mt Zion.  While the Israelites waited for Moses there was a consuming fire on the top of Mt Sinia, and later in the wilderness fire came upon the sons of Aaron who offered unholy fire and consumed them.    John is not only pointing beyond himself to the Messiah who will come to the temple, he is indicating the Holy Spirit will be a purifying fire upon those who are baptized.

 â€˜Hearts on fire’ can be hearts burning with passion and conviction, but ‘hearts on fire’ can also be hearts suffering the burning of the chaff in their life that the grain may find its place in the presence of God’s granary.  Both are involved with the reality of baptism.

 The Basis of Union states.  “Baptism into Christ’s body initiates people into Christ’s life and mission in the world, so they are united in one fellowship of love, service, suffering and joy, in one family of the Father of all in heaven and earth, and in the power of the one Spirit.” (Par 7 Baptism)

 Christ’s body, the new temple of the Holy Spirit, brings us into ‘one family of the Father of all in heaven and earth’.  How we need the Holy Spirit to fire us with this vision of the future of the planet, while removing from us the chaff that gets in the way of this heavenly purpose. Whatever else is happening here, Christ’s people know this fire is not under their control.  They are initiated into Christ’s life and mission in the world.  Burn both ways in us Holy Spirit, with moments of ecstasy and joy, as well as pruning and suffering.

 Prayer

We praise you God that you have let loose among us the awesome presence of your encouraging and disturbing Holy Spirit.  Thankyou that you give us new eyes and new ears to both see and receive what you have for us as a Uniting Church, one church among so many others. Open our eyes to our sisters and brothers, to see and celebrate with those who are bathed in the joy of your heavenly vision, and to support and encourage those who are seeing both the truth and the dross and irrelevance in what they do.  Help us to reaffirm our baptism with your living fire.    Push us toward the deepest love and joy as well as push us to the purity of service and suffering.  Amen.

 Pray for:  Unitingworld partner –  Evangelical Christian Church in Minahasa

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