“While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said, “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for several days.” (Acts 10:44-48)
As I have said before, the book of Acts is the recounting of the Early Christian Church; how it was formed, how they worshiped, and how the Christian faith was spread. It is informative and illuminating as to how other Christians might live out their faith.
What struck me the most (and before I had a chance to read the entire passage) is that the Holy Spirit “fell upon” them in short order. The belief of Cornelius and his household was strong and immediate that their hearts and souls grasped onto faith easily and quickly. It is good that this was witnessed by others. This incident is part of a series of encounters between the Spirit of God and the Gentiles. I think I have my chronology correct when I say that some time after this the believers in Jerusalem accepted Gentiles on their profession of faith and did not require a great deal further from them.
Would that established believers could accept people new to the faith this easily, and welcome them as believers instead of questioning them and asking them to meet preconceived standards instead of offering God’s unconditional love. (Oh my! That does start to open a large “kettle of potentially stinky fish”! Better give you your blessing, beloved reader, and say shalom!)
May God bless the worship you have with your circle of faith, and may God’s Spirit fall on you! Selah!