This past Sunday Philip was taken up by the Spirit to the Ethiopian eunuch who, after being baptized, "went on his way rejoicing." The eunuch had at least enough interest and introduction to the faith to be reading the scriptures, no small thing that being. Nevertheless, it took the preaching of Philip and the Spirit to bring about faith in Christ. Some argue this encounter is the origin of what we know of today as the Coptic Church.
Now in this Sunday's reading it is the Spirit and Peter testifying that leads to baptism in the name of Jesus. Again a surprise, because the Spirit comes upon the Gentiles. "The circumcised" are surprised at this, because they continue to think that salvation has come for them in Christ, the Messiah.
Apparently, Christ's atonement is as much about extending the Spirit to the separated as much as it is working in the Spirit to bring about reconciliation between humanity and God.
But the question that I'm asking myself in preparation for the sermon this Sunday, is this-
"Do we expect the Spirit to come when we testify? And when we hear testimony, do we expect that the Spirit would come upon us, or upon others near us?" Said more colloquially, "Do we really believe something freeing and new is going to happen when somebody preaches, maybe to us, maybe to others?"