Support the Café

Search our Site

Speaking to the Soul: Can’t Hold Back

Speaking to the Soul: Can’t Hold Back

Week of Proper 16, Year Two

[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:

Psalms 16, 17 (morning) // 22 (evening)

Job 9:1-15, 32-35

Acts 10:34-48

John 7:37-52

Churches expend a fair amount of energy on withholding sacraments. Who may be baptized or married? Who may receive communion? As we ponder and debate these questions about sharing the sacraments, we might also begin to recognize that these sacraments have a force and energy all their own.

In today’s second reading, Peter finds himself unable to hold back the waters of baptism. The Holy Spirit has fallen upon the Gentiles who are listening to him preach about God’s impartiality and forgiveness, and about the death and new life of Jesus Christ that he and his fellow apostles have seen for themselves. Peter’s companions are “astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles.” So Peter asks them, “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”

Perhaps we too can begin to feel the longing and the urgency of baptismal waters, of wine poured out and bread broken, of a marriage blessing, as they surge toward people who share the Spirit. Peter recognizes how the God of impartiality, forgiveness, and new life has claimed these people has God’s own. Peter’s role then is simply to open the floodgates. (They probably wouldn’t have held for much longer anyway.)

Lora Walsh blogs about the Daily Office readings at A Daily Scandal. She serves as Priest Associate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and assists with adult formation and campus ministry at St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café