Nicodemus was old. My good wife two Christmases ago gave me a T-shirt with the words on it, “With Age comes Oldness.” Like Nicodemus this old priest can ask, “How can a human being when he or she becomes old be born again? Not just celebrate birthdays which are reminders of this olding frame, but actually, truly be born again?
One fairly simple, direct response is this: you need to die. The Sunday Service for Children says this with every service, speaking of the Spirit that “leads the living into death that it may live anew.” There it gently points to an amazing grace–the mystery and grace of re-incarnation. It is one of the great gifts that we, as a movement for religious renewal live with, like Mary carried so many mysteries in her heart.
We live with it, not as a dogma or even a church doctrine, but as a thought–freely offered, to take into our thinking, let live in our thoughts, to live and work with in seeking to understand and live out our faith in Christ and His Deed. It is one modest but important way we work on contributing to Christianity and the stream of Christ flowing into the future.
What a thought! Christ is here for the whole journey. And we are all here for the whole journey. We are all ongoing, continuing participants in the greatest story ever told which is still very much a work in progress. And we all will be born again, and again, from above, out of the spirit, into this human-earth story to live and work with Christ, in Christ, working from Christ on and into that future.
What a Spirit-Aim! To be working on, developing our relationship with His Being, Power, and Spirit in and through all our incarnations, all our deaths and births, in and through all cycles of time.
What an invigorating, rejuvenating, re-enlivening thought to live with and let live in our hearts, minds, and wills, “How can I be, how can We be, preparing In Christ, not just to die, but to be born again?”