We read today a portion of a sermon from Concordia Pulpit Resources that focuses on the reading from Acts.
Acts 2:14a, 22–36
Read the propers for today on lutherancalendar.org.
[Acts 2:33] presents a common image related to the Holy Spirit, one that provides an entrance into an understanding of how God works in and through us. In a variety of settings, the Holy Spirit is spoken of in terms of a fluid that can be “poured” out and “fill up” a container, the believer. Acts 2:4 says the disciples were “filled with the Holy Spirit” (emphasis added). Peter quotes a passage from Joel in which God twice promises, “I will pour out my Spirit” (Acts 2:17–18, emphasis added). See not only Joel 2:28–29 but also Acts 10:45 and Titus 3:6 for other examples of the Holy Spirit being “poured.” The water image of pouring and filling is also related to Jesus’ promise in Jn 7:38 about “rivers of living water” flowing from the heart of those who believe in him. John explicitly makes the connection between this overflowing water and the Spirit (Jn 7:39).
Implicit in the imagery of pouring are several important dynamics. We are never the ones who pour; we are the passive vessels who receive the gift. Filling up also implies a purpose or an intended result. In Acts 2, the result of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is the preaching of the Gospel and about three thousand new baptized believers. Though the text itself does not develop it further, the image of pouring and filling for a purpose can help us proclaim the work of the Trinity to save us and those around us. . . .
The promise of your baptism goes with you back to your homes, workplaces, and families. You are never disconnected from the source. The Spirit turned you and put you back into a right relationship with God in Jesus Christ. Jesus has poured into you the Spirit he received from God the Father. That pouring has become a spring of living water that you now share with those around you. Even when you forget how full you are, you are never separated from the source. Again today Jesus reminds you of what he did at your Baptism: he poured into you the Holy Spirit so that you remain filled to overflowing.
Devotional reading is from Concordia Pulpit Resources, Vol. 19, Part 3, Series B © 2009 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.