Friday, May 29, 2015
“Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” (John 3:3)
Nicodemus does not understand what Jesus is saying to him. He can’t get past the ridiculous image of a grown man trying to get back into the womb to be born again.
His fellow teachers of Israel are even less receptive to the idea of new birth. New life in the Spirit refuses to fit into their old ways, and so they resist it. God’s power made known in Jesus will not yield to their control, so they reject it. This way to new life is not of their initiative, their doing, and so they will fight against it.
When confronted with new life, how often do we do the very same things?
Laugh at it.
Fight against it.
What if we could instead, approach new life as we did the first time around?
I don’t remember what it was like to be born,
but I do remember what it was like to give birth.
It wasn’t pain exactly. Pain is not the right word.
The only way I can describe natural child birth:
it felt like the world was being torn apart.
The forces of nature had taken hold of me.
Forces that make the mountains rise up, and bring them crashing down.
The forces of the surging seas, the forces that drive the wind.
Forces completely beyond my control had taken over and were working their transformation in me, and there was no where I could hide.
I went into labor with the idea that I could prepare, that I could plan, that I had control.
But instead, what I experienced was being swept away by a power so completely beyond me. All that I could do was surrender to it and let it transform me.
Really, in giving birth, I was not so different from that baby being born.
It was happening to both of us.
After it was all over there it was, new life.
I was grateful…and I was humbled.
With absolute certainly, I knew I was not the one who made this new life come into being.