Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our Gospel reading from Matthew chapter 3 introduces the Christ who has not yet come on the scene. John the Baptizer speaks of his power to make a people for his name. Though the passage is full of different ideas, I wish to address just one now. That appears in verses 11-12. What work will Jesus be doing when he comes? He is the one who will give his people the Holy Spirit and will baptize with fire.
In casual studies, it is easy to equate the Holy Spirit with fire. Fire is often seen as a symbol of the Spirit. However, notice here the function of fire? Jesus will gather the good grain, those who believe on him, into his barn but he will burn up the chaff, that which is useless, with unquenchable fire. In other words, those whom He baptizes with the Holy Spirit are preserved from the baptism of fire.
May we be found as God’s good grain, trusting in Jesus, destined to be gathered into his storehouse. Let us not seek the fire of the Holy Spirit, which will destroy us forever.
If this brief meditation was helpful to you, I hope you will check out the other materials on our website at www.WittenbergCoMo.com and consider supporting us.