03 October 2015

birth and rebirth

To be born is one matter—to live is another. The former is a beginning, the latter requires rebirth. It would not surprise me in the least if God counts our days not by the number of years since we were born but by the number of days since our last rebirth.

Some Christians speak of rebirth as a once-in-a-lifetime event. They talk of when they were “born again.” But if we are not born again again, to be merely born again is nothing.

How else are we to continually receive the kingdom of God as a little child? The only way to do so is to be born again again—and again, and again, and again.

I suppose this is part of what Jesus means when he speaks of eternal life. Though the body ages, the spirit can continue to practice childhood—and so, grow wiser. Yes, a life continually renewed is indeed eternal. My prayer is that I would be that kind of person, that we would all inherit eternal life—which is more a quality of life than a quantity of life, more an essence than a measure.

Be born in me, my God, ever new with each sunrise. “Renew a steadfast spirit within me.” When the way seems closed, help me to believe that, when the time is right, “way will open.” Open my eyes to see the wonder of resurrection at work every day, in every season. Thank you for the freedom of childlike play—to go exploring with gusto, to laugh and enjoy goodness all around and within. Show me new ways to play and new ways to help others practice childhood. Help me never take myself too seriously. When times are dark and my sight is as weak as a newborn’s, open my ears to hear your joy in the voices of those around me. When I am helpless like an infant, hold me close and carry me.

So be it. Amen.

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