If you find this meaningful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal.
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 thong 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.”
So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people. But Herod the ruler, who had been rebuked by him because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the evil things that Herod had done, added to them all by shutting up John in prison.
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
Holy Spirit and Fire
But, of course, now I know better. I mean, when John talked about Holy Spirit and fire, he really wasn’t talking about two different experiences. Instead, he was looking forward to Pentecost, when the Spirit rested upon the disciples like tongues of fire. And those who received the Holy Spirit, this wasn’t the trigger for blessings, rather it was a source of power, enabling them to follow in the footsteps of that other one on whom the Spirit rested, but for him it was in the bodily form of a dove. You see, because of the Holy Spirit and fire, this is who we are and what we’ve been called to do.