August 26, 2023
Hello. My name is David. My Mom and Dad gave me that name. They are responsible for my existence. Mom gave birth to me in April 1950 at Gates Circle Hospital in Buffalo, NY. Those are facts. I’m here. (People have told me so, anyway. And I can look in a mirror to confirm their testimony.)
Yep! There I am alright. (…Just checked again to make sure…)
Then, there is the inner person: me, myself, and I.
Even though we cannot see it, we know it is there instinctively. Some cultures think of it as the heart, some, the mind, and some, the soul. Seems to me we can box all three together and put a pin in it, leaving it for some other time for discussion. Let me leave the thought by saying, the mystery — however one tries to describe it — is another essential part of my existence, and I assume, part of yours, too.
Notwithstanding, the Bible, for the most part, is trying to reach that inner person, and Jesus spent His time trying to show people the importance of that dynamic in having a relationship with God. He taught that in the chaos of existence, people lost that relationship. In our natural selves, we cannot even see it, and we are not acutely aware that there is more to life than our physical existence.
In order to become aware of this, Jesus said “You must be born again.” He told this to a highly educated person that was astounded by it and retorted, “How can any person, especially when they are old, return to their mother’s womb to have a second birth?!?”
That seems to be the eternal, prevailing question encased in the riddle “who-what-why-where-when- and where?”
The “who” is everybody — each and every one.
The “what’ is the inner person.
“Why” is so a person can be able to see the spiritual realm outside of themselves called “heaven.”
“Where” is the here and now. (When you are dead, it is probably too late.) It is a kind of a come as you are situation.
Well, as I began by telling of my initial birth, my heritage in the matriarchal dictum is from Scotland — from my Grandmother MacDonald’s clan. I relate to those relatives. Also, sometimes I notice — like when I am shaving — the expression on my face reminds me of my Dad’s. Other times my little quirks and idiosyncrasies look like some of Dad’s, too. That’s all “in my DNA,” figuratively speaking. Those are all family familiar familiarities…
There came a time in my youth that I needed to cut the apron strings and unaware of that natural progression, not knowing what the heck I was doing, I screwed it all up and consequently, bad things happened — and not just to me. Harm, harming, and harmfulness, or the phrase “Ain’t it a sin!” Stupidly, that same pattern of ignorance was evident after my second birth. Thankfully, even though I am quite slow on the uptake, Jesus is patient and able to repair my inner faults, restoring me on the right path.
So, back to the central question: Jesus taught, “You must be born again.” And the natural ensuing question is do you care to know the answers to the who-what-why-when-where-how questions?
If you are not at all interested, you should really go find something else to do. There’s a lot to hold a person’s interest through technological advances — now you can even let A.I. do all your thinking for you. Also, it’s a wide, wide world out there to explore, and you won’t be around forever. So go. Get out there and live a little. (Notice my sarcasm? It’s supposed to be dripping.)
Back to the curious and those who sense there is more to life than what we can see.
Jesus said we must be born a second time by the Spirit of God. That is the who and the what and the why.
When? “God says, ‘In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.’ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”
“As has just been said: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.’ “
Anywhere really, but earnestly from your heart.
And here’s a deeper look at “why”:
We are separated from God by our behaviors that emulate from our inner person, the human nature the Greeks called our “sarx,” and which the Bible calls our fallen or sinful nature.
It might be natural, that is, the tendency to excuse ourselves for our stupidity in doing harm, simply by attributing it to common mistakes all people make. But that thinking, although it might be a natural rationalization, does nothing to resolve the effects and personal consequences of our hurtful behaviors.
That is what Jesus came to correct. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Our response is required.
Instead of fluffing off the consequences of our thoughts and deeds with lame excuses, take responsibility for yourself and your actions.
Maybe, just maybe you can admit you need a fresh start, that second birth.
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” And…
“… to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
So, there’s more to say about how… Start talking to Jesus. Read what He says as recorded by His companions recounted in the Bible.
People can tell you that I exist. I can tell you Jesus exists. I’ve checked the box and the four pictures of motorcycles in the CAPTCHA…
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Out of the depths I call to you, Lord!
Lord, listen to my voice;
let your ears be attentive to my cry for help.
“Lord, if you kept an account of iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
so that you may be revered.
Wait for the Lord; I wait
and put my hope in his word.
“I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning —
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
“Put your hope in the Lord.
For there is faithful love with the Lord,
and with him is redemption in abundance.
And he will redeem…from all its iniquities.”