“Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:38-39
Every day I drive by this field. It has become a part of the background scenery getting little notice until the other day. It was a sunny day. Blue sky. Unmistakable hint that a new season was coming. Creation all around was changing and yet the field looked the same. For some reason after months of gray and rain I saw this field and noticed the rows from the cut corn. I thought back to blistering days of summer when I was rooting for rain so the crop would not be lost. I remember seeing the green of the field. And suddenly on that blue and sunny day, I no longer saw the dormant field, but instead I saw a promise.
No doubt the farmer already has plans for this field. Corn or beans. Something will grow there. Spring is surely coming and soon there will be activity. There will be preparations, and planting. There will, in other words, be growth. This field will come alive with the evidence of a new season and a new potential. There is promise and there is hope in the field I drive by every day.
As we continue our journey through Lent, we are almost at the halfway point already. Early Lent is a challenge for us because we often become aware of what we need to attend to in our own personal journey. There is work to do because the changes that are needed are evident. At the halfway point we have experienced successes and failures, but now as Holy Week approaches at the end of the month, we start to sense the promises of God. We start to grasp the magnitude of the gift of grace in Jesus Christ. Perhaps we are even becoming more aware of the preciousness of life itself, and the need to spend our days working for compassion, grace and peace.
The Apostle Paul is concluding his epic sermon on the day of Pentecost in the Book of Acts. The people were cut to the heart with his testimony, and like us, recognized that a change was needed. The people ask what they can do and Peter responds. In his response Peter reminds the people, and reminds us, that repentance, Baptism, and the gift of the Holy Spirit are indeed promises of a new life lived in Jesus Christ. A chance to shed the old, a chance to move from the background into the bright light of a child of Jesus Christ.
We all know that Pentecost day sermon and the response of the people literally launched the church. A field was planted if you will, and throughout history we are now heirs of the promise of Christ and the promise of new seasons of growth. We can do this because God promises this to us. And so gentle reader, press on with your journey. A new season awaits.
PRAYER: Gracious God, thank you for being patient with me. I know my journey has had ups and downs, but in this season of Lent I desire to grow. I desire to grow closer to You through a commitment to work my field so that your Spirit will renew my heart.
Thank you for your promises kept through Christ I pray. Ame