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At Last My Beautiful, Frightened Dove Was Set Free

By Bob Slosser Columnist - Last time out, I wrote about Jesus and the Dove of the Holy Spirit at the Jordan River. Of course, that was a onetime-only event, the Father (God) sending the Holy Spirit (God) to light and stay upon Jesus (God). Others have had experiences with the Dove upon them remarkable experiences. Let me tell you mine (since I have the column).

It came early in my walk with the Lord. Im not even sure you could justifiably call those crazy and wonderful days of mine a "walk," but I had the nerve to write a poem about the dove (you have to remember, the column is mine). I dedicated the poem to Harald Bredesen, the rambling, meek and humble genius who made me see the grace of God:

He Will Baptize You with the Holy Spirit

The grayness of my tired being
Crumbled and broke
Before the penetrating presence of Christ
And the scales flaked from my inward eyes.

Up the steely shaft into the softness of time
I stared, and sighed
For the sweet dove squeezed in his cage:
Still and silent.

Jesus swept me beneath the surface
In my baptism,
And through the torrent of tears
I beheld my dove up the long slender funnel.

The cage parted and vanished
And he rose slowly into the clear softness
And soared, his wings free and strong,
To the heights he was intended for.

This vision if that was what it was came during prayers by Harald and me for my baptism in the Holy Spirit one month after my conversion from belief that ranged up and down between atheism and agnosticism. Peters amazing sermon in the streets (I guess) on the Day of Pentecost after the Holy Spirit had fallen on the band of believers in the upper room (it seems) was much on my mind in that intervening month and ever since.

All of Chapter Two in the Book of Acts is overpowering, but Im still especially struck by Verse 36, coming on the heels of a thorough examination of the understanding required for the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The points in order are: (1) Jesus, descended from King David, was sent by Gods set purpose and foreknowledge, (2) He was crucified, (3) He was resurrected as forecast by David and others, (4) He was exalted to the right hand of God and received from the Father (God) the promised Holy Spirit (God), (5) and He (God) poured out Pentecost as forecast by the prophet Joel (Joel 2:28-32). Good fodder for a sermon, eh?

And heres the climax for me from the mouth of boomin Peter in Verse 36: "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."

The people were cut to the heart and sobbed, "Brothers, what shall we do?"

The reply was simple: Repent and be baptized, EVERY ONE OF YOU, in the name of Jesus Christ (which in no way negates Matthew 28:19b). You will receive the gift (note the gift) of the Holy Spirit. Who me? Yes, you. "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 2:39). About 3,000 were added to their number that day. Good preachin, Fisherman.

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