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Posts Tagged ‘rebirth’

mustard-seedAnd that ‘s all I know right now. God is with me despite my inner chaos, despite my sense of loss, despite my confusion. God is with me even in the darkest night, the shallowest hope, the greatest disappointments. God is still here.

Have started a brief 30 day reading plan on behalf of my church, to encourage others to read. Funny, in the very midst of this, I am feeling very hollow. My muse is on vacation. My Spirit is quiet and I am deaf. And so, all I have is my mind to remind me, intellectually, God is here. (Matthew 1:22-23)

Yesterday, a friend posted on Facebook that he was feeling depressed. I told him to take a breath and go somewhere beautiful. I think I need to take my own advice. This morning, I woke early with only a few hours sleep. My dreams were vivid and then I was subsequently crestfallen to emerge into this reality.

And so, I see: I need my own rebirth, a baby Jesus to be born and start again, a babe of an idea: a mustard seed to renew my soul.

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Starting over. That’s what rebirth and renewal are all about. Starting over. The trick is getting the right stuff, the right soap, for washing away the crap. Despite all good intentions, there’s only One soap that works: the suds and bubbles of the Holy Spirit.

Titus 3:4-5
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, . . .

I can’t make myself new or clean. I can even take a bath in all the good things of life, but the inner life is cleansed by Spirit and nothing else.

I have always recoiled at the standard Christian phrase, “Have you been born again?” I know it’s in scripture, the phrase was used by Jesus himself to Nicodemus [John 3:6-7]. But, at that time, the phrase wasn’t used to separate the good ones from the really good ones, the saved ones from the really saved ones, and so on.

And yet, I wonder, how different would it be to ask, “Have you Started Over?” Isn’t this what most people really want and need? People who are enmeshed in habits and addictions, abusive relationships, cyclical poverty, dead-end jobs, bottomless grief, or numbing isolation, wouldn’t the offer of starting over and beginning anew, or turning a corner where the past no longer drove actions or decisions, where the weight of mistakes no longer caused slow shuffling steps, wouldn’t that be a cause for hope?

In actuality, with the presence of the Holy Spirit, every day is a new day and a new start. Every day is a beginning. Every day is filled with possibilities.

Wash me today, Lord. Wash me today.

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