Holy Spirit 1

 Acts 8: 14 – 17 v 17 “Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit.”

The disciples were out spreading the word about Jesus and in this passage, we find Philip in Samaria. He had baptized many believers and as a result John and Peter went to visit this new church. They found however that the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, although they had been baptized. So, they prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit. Then they laid their hands on the believers and they received the Holy Spirit.

At 13 you were considered by the Anglican Church old enough to announce to the world that you believed in God, promises that your parents had made on your behalf at your baptism as a baby. You attended confirmation classes and for me the experience was the start of growing up into adult responsibilities. A group of peers and adults were asking you for your opinion and although at the time I was shy and didn’t say much I began to realize that one day I would be an adult with my own decisions to make. The culmination of this experience was the confirmation service. I got a new dress to wear that was good. The bishop in his large hat came and put his hands on the head of each one of us. That was pretty impressive. However, the Holy spirit did not come to me then, at least not in the way I expected. I was disappointed that I did not feel any different or have any mystical experience. No dove came down on my head! There was no voice from heaven. In fact it was quite, very quiet.

Underlined in this passage and in my experience, is the difference between believing in Jesus as the Samaritans did when they listened to Philip and accepting the Holy Spirit into your life, which occurred with the laying on of hands by Peter and John. I believe at the time I was confirmed I was a Christian understanding who Jesus was , knowing lots of the stories from the bible but I had not asked Jesus into my heart. That occurred a few years later, the understanding that God loved me first, that Jesus died for me on the cross, that the Holy spirit is a gift from God that we can experience in many ways. Gradually over time my experience led me to trust the Holy Spirit for me in the still small voice of calm.

Prayer: Holy Father send your Holy Spirit to those who pray today. Open their hearts to your word and your love for them. Amen.

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