Thursday, September 20

Reflections on being reborn

It is not uncommon for me to talk through some of my thoughts on subjects in private, trying to work out kinks and derive greater understanding about things which my gut says is true.  This means that the dog has a much better understanding of ecclesiology than the cat (for she normally wanders off), though the cat would argue that she has a better grasp of theology as she is certain that there is a god (and she is Her).

During one of these pacing/muttering episodes, I was reminded of Nicodemus' conversation with Christ in John 3.  Recall that Nicodemus was a rabbi, a Pharisee and a member of the Sandhedrin - the jewish equivalent of a first century cardinal.  In short, Christ is not talking to a simple farmer or fisherman, but to a learned member of the clergy.

Christ talks about being born again and Nicodemus asks how this works in physical terms.  No no, replies Jesus, I'm talking figuratively, that ones being is reborn through water and the Spirit (It is likely that Christ is referring to the Mikveh, the ritual purification rite involving immersion in water, which is what John the Baptist was doing).  Physical is physical and Spirit is Spirit, so don't be all surprised when I say that you need to be reborn in the Spirit.

Then Christ says that the Spirit blows where it wills, we can see the effects, but we have no idea where it comes from or goes and that's how it works for everyone born in the Spirit.  This is where the train takes a turn.  I make this break because it really appears that the conversation is shifting.  Nicodemus asks "how is this possible?" Christ then goes into some depth of the Universality of God

This rebirth is not a matter of ashes and fire, but of paradigm shift.  The world isn't as you saw it before, but much bigger, greater, more complex and wonderful than you previously imagined.  It's not about rules and regulations, ancient pacts and dusty tomes.  It is about the living world in the here and now, immediate and direct in a way which can't be rationalized or ignored.

It is about encountering God in Her creation.

1 comment:

  1. One thing to point out here is that rebirth is typically somewhat painful. Your way of thinking must be shaken to the core and at least somewhat disassymbled in order to be put back together in a new fashion.