Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
John 3:1-13 (NRSV)
Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?
“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.
Nicodemus just didn’t get it. “I’ve got to do what?” he asked Jesus, after being told he had to be born again. Jesus’ words just didn’t make sense. Sometimes they still don’t. This is one of the great mysteries of faith. One part of the mystery is we are called to start over again. Every day we are called to take new steps on this walk. Those who follow Christ must be willing to embrace the journey of faith. We must acknowledge that being born again means admitting we are babies. We must learn to trust God’s word as we read it, hear it, and experience it. We must surround ourselves with wise, godly people, for we need the help of others. Then we must be willing to listen, study, and pray for help and guidance. We must be willing to live with our hearts as wide open as Jesus’ heart—a heart filled with true compassion and a willingness to live in deep truth.
God of wisdom and new beginnings. With thanksgiving we begin each day anew. We seek to understand, listening for your word and your wisdom. Give us ears to hear and hearts that truly listen. Help us recognize people and friends who can keep us company on this journey. May we look at the world with compassion, seeking truth and finding ways to share you through our words and actions. Amen.
Go with God.