Luke, the evangelist, is insistent.
Jesus ascends to heaven. We must ‘wait for the promise,’ we must ‘stay in the city’:
Wait in Jerusalem for what the Father has promised (Acts 1).
And now I am sending down to you what the Father has promised. Stay in the city then, until you are clothed with the power from on high (Luke 24).
We must ‘wait,’ ‘remain,’ ‘stay’ for baptism in the Spirit (Acts 1).
There is a second century recipe for pickles.
It speaks of ‘baptising’ the cucumbers in vinegar. Baptise, a Greek word meaning to ‘immerse.’
We know from experience that in order to get good pickles the cucumbers have to remain in the vinegar for some time. They need to be immersed.
The act of baptism, whereby we are immersed in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is accompanied by an immersion into the life of faith.
We are told that the early believing community:
Devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers (Acts 2).
St. Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386) bequeathed 23 catechesis prior to the reception of baptism.
The word catechesis coming from the Greek word ‘echo.’ The teaching of Jesus has to ‘echo’ in us before we receive baptism.
We have an initial encounter with Christ, in and through a Christian witness, who announces the ‘Good News.’
This is the ‘evangelical act.’
Then a period of time is given over to the ‘echo.’ The teaching of Jesus echoes in our hearts, preparing them for baptism by water.
This is the ‘catechetical act.’
Then baptism in the Spirit, followed by the other sacraments of initiation – Eucharist and Confirmation.
This is the ‘sacramental act.’
Cucumbers need time to be pickled. Believers need time to be ‘pickled.’
Time and space is required to enter into the mystery of Christ, especially in the 21st Century.