Be Born of Water and Spirit
Ginny Miller of Independence, MO, USA
He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” -John 3:2-3
Nicodemus, a rabbi, a Jewish leader, and a member of the ruling Sanhedrin, questioned Jesus one night. How can you be born after you have grown old? How can you enter your mother’s womb a second time? How?
We also would have questions for Jesus if we interpreted his statements literally. However, if we re-formed our understanding of what Jesus was trying to teach Nicodemus, we could more fully understand what Jesus meant when he described the steps we must take to enter God’s kingdom.
If you live in a metropolitan area as I do, you seldom drive in the dark. Street lights, porch lights, stop lights, parking lot lights, shopping centers, and homes all shed light on the darkness. However, if I drive at night on the back roads to our church campgrounds, I find it challenging to navigate the winding, hilly roads. They are so dark!
John’s Gospel tells us that Nicodemus came to Jesus in the dark. There are many suppositions as to why: he was afraid; he didn’t want anyone to know what he was doing; it was the only time Jesus had available; or he, too, was finding it difficult to weave through the winding, hilly pathways to the message Jesus was sharing. Perhaps he was finding it challenging to be a student again (discerning his way toward clarity out of what seemed dark and murky) after spending so many decades as a distinguished teacher.
The lesson from Jesus is as much for us today as it was for Nicodemus-appreciate the world with new understandings by following the one who leads us through the hilly, winding roads and guides us back into our unique relationship with God.
I am about to do a new thing, now it springs forth… (Isaiah 43:19).
A New Thing
Breathe deeply and listen within. Where is the Spirit doing a new thing in you? How do you feel about the new thing that might be emerging? Are you excited, resistant, fearful, hopeful? Take whatever you are experiencing to prayer. Breathe deeply and listen around you. Where is the Spirit doing a new thing in your community? Pay attention to how it feels to discern the Spirit’s activity and presence within and around you.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.