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He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Luke 3.16

They had to wait... and not just in that upper room in Jerusalem but throughout Jesus' ministry. However, when he came, the gift exceeded anyone's expectation: individual tongues of fire on each apostle and everyone present hearing the gospel in their own language. We light candles to celebrate somebody's birthday. The birth of the Church is marked by the lighting of preachers!

Thrilling stuff but what can it mean for us?

First we marvel. This is history. Here was the extraordinary fulfilment of a compelling promise. Then we learn. Those disciples who trusted Jesus and did not flee the marauding authorities were rewarded for their audacious faith. And, because it is in the Bible, we embrace. I don't mean we wrap our arms around each other but that we receive the text as applying to us.


Extraordinary blessing comes to those who obey God, believe his promises, wait patiently yet expectantly for their fulfilment and then put them into practice. None of this is to raise our status or boost our earnings. It is purely so that we might effectively fulfil our vocation: as heralds of Christ and of the hope and meaning to be found uniquely in him.



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