The Scripture Readings for the week are:
- Psalm 121 (VU p.844)
- John 3:1-17
The Sermon Title is Born of Spirit, Born Again
Early Thoughts: Born Again Not a term we use often in our tradition. Certainly a word that has, through common usage, come to have a particular theological ring to it. What might it mean to us to use it more?
In his book The Heart of Christianity Marcus Borg spends an entire chapter on the idea of being Born Again (maybe I should just read the chapter on Sunday???) because it is such a key term for faith. And yet because we are uncomfortable with how some people have used the term we have given it up. Still it is unquestionable that becoming a person of Christian faith involves being re-born, or born anew, or born from above.
To be a person of Christian Faith is to embrace a new way of living, a new life. This is what it means to be born anew. It means to leave one way behind and to start a new way. This happens through the work of the Spirit. And so it is uncontrollable. It sometimes takes us by surprise (as it apparently does with Nicodemus) and pushes us to do things that we never would have done before. The stories of people in faith who have had this happen are Legion.
How are we being born anew/from above/of Spirit/again? Does our new birth impact how we react to and interact with the events of the world around us? (Libya, Japan, homelessness in Grande Prairie...)
Also this week we will pause for a moment to look at Japan. What is happening? What is/could be/should be our response? Where is God? I encourage us to look at the last question in light of the Psalm reading which promises that God is with us in our hardship (although those last verses are a bit more problematic...)