Pastor Don Gray
Being Born "Anew"
Greetings Faithful Disciples of Jesus,
In preparing for sermons I recently visited this idea of being born “Anew” and that triggered some thoughts/feelings for me that I’d like to share.
Have you ever taken time to notice what an apple looks like on the inside? Cut an apple in half and take a look. See how the seeds are arranged around the core, almost like the petals of a flower? See how the seeds rest in clear little pods? This beautiful, hidden part of the apple causes the apple to grow and also can be planted to grow more apple trees.
The beautiful design inside an apple is like the Holy Spirit in our lives, to help us grow in God's love and cause others to grow in God's love as well. Jesus, when he was speaking to the Pharisees said, "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (3:6). Jesus was teaching them that we all have bodies we can see and we also have a spirit which is the part of us that is hidden inside.
When we accept God's love, that love becomes God's Spirit within us. Even though it is not something we can see, God's Spirit causes our lives to have a beautiful design. We can feel God's love growing within us. Just as the seeds in an apple cause other trees to grow, God's Spirit in us causes other people to grow and become nourished by God's love.
The New Testament was written in Greek. The word that is translated "anew" can also be translated "from above." Both are true. To enter God's kingdom, we must be born anew––from above. While we have a role in seeking a new life, the "from above" part emphasizes that our becoming a new person is something accomplished by God.
Keep in mind the different ways we can translate that verse. Some say, "Born Anew." Some say, "Born Again." Some say, "Born From Above." They all mean the same thing. Jesus is saying that we must experience a new birth—we must become new people—if we are to see the kingdom of God.
You and I have been made “Anew” in Holy Baptism and I pray that by the power of the Holy Spirit you and I are allowing God to transform us from the old person we used to be, into the new person that God wants us to be.
I feel confident in saying that God’s children here at St. Mark’s have been born from above and we are servants fit for the kingdom of God.
Have a blessed summer and please share God’s peace, kindness and love with others.