Scripture: Acts 19:1-7
While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit. So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all. (New International Version)
About thirty years ago, I was part of a youth group at St. Paul’s United Church in Fredericton. One evening we were brainstorming future programming ideas, and discussed looking at different religions.
Jacqui, who had grown up in a Baptist church, suggested that we should start by looking at the differences between Christian denominations. She continued, “For example, one of the things that I find really strange here, is that you don’t talk about the gift of the spirit.”
Much like the disciples at Ephesus, I thought “The what…..?????” Judging by the puzzled looks around the room, I don’t think that I was the only one.
By David Westwick
Inclusive and loving God, there are so many different faith groups in the world. Sometimes we have difficulty understanding each other and do not even share similar beliefs. Continue to remind us, O God, that all of us are your beloved children, both in spirit and in heart. AMEN