Acts 8:14-17 (NRSV)
Verse 14Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. Verse 15The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit Verse 16(for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). Verse 17Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Hymn Reflection: ELW 860
When I was working with our Global Missions program, I had the opportunity to be part of the service of installation for the new Bishop of Rwanda. The attending Bishops and church representatives lay their hands upon him, praying for the Holy Spirit to be with him in his new position. It was wonderful to feel the love and care that was being placed upon this new servant of the Lutheran Church of Rwanda. At our local congregation we have members who serve in a laying on of hands ministry, praying for the Holy Spirit to heal the body, spirit, and mind of those who request it. As a priesthood of all believers, we are all called to this ministry, for it relies not on the power of the person, but on the work and power of the Holy Spirit. It is this that frees us from thinking we have the power or the glory, but recognizes where that power belongs: with God.
Holy Spirit, we pray for your presence in our lives today. Fill us with the gifts needed to follow the path Jesus has given us in the work we are called to do. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.