Born of the Spirit, Homily, Euch. Service

John 3:7B-15

In our Gospel we hear a conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus in which Jesus tells him that he must be ‘born from above’. Jesus continues with the phrase of ‘born of the Spirit’.

Poor Nicodemus, in return, asks Jesus, ‘how can this happen’?

Each of us might ask the very same question; how can I be born from above and born of the Spirit. It sounds like Jesus is describing an event.

I believe there are two ways. One happened to me 48 years and one week ago when I literally asked a group of people to pray for me that I would be immersed or baptized in the Holy Spirit. The prayers were very plain and honestly did not sound super spiritual.

But, they changed almost every aspect of my life, a true paradigm shift. Scripture came alive. My heart seemed to resonate with it. On the down side I lost all of my friends and they were replaced with a whole new group, some of whom I had previously known but didn’t care for. Six weeks later I lost my job at the beginning of a whole different life style that lasted one year, almost to the day.

During that year we welcomed a forth child born without insurance and a series of other events that moved our hearts closer to the good Lord.

As I mentioned earlier, there are two ways. The second way is most likely the normal way that most people experience – that is, they grow over time into that same endpoint. As we mature, scripture comes alive if we give ourselves to it. Our hearts learn to resonate with it and the normal things of God. We experience hard times that draw us closer to God through our need.

So, in the end, one way is not really better than the other. It is my guess that the quick way is used by the Lord with those of us who are truly weak and needy.  That is surely where I was at the time, hanging by a thread.

The Holy Spirit brings practical solutions to practical problems and we would all do well to reach out specifically to Him in our daily needs.

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