The Grasp: a Reflection on Psalm 44, Genesis 8:6-22, Hebrews 4:14-5:6 and John 2:23-3:15
How can a person one be born again? This question remains the most poignant and fundamental question human can ask. Just like Nicodemus, we wonder. It’s not logical, yet the question is so compelling. With the subsiding of the Flood and God’s promise to Noah that was solidified in the Covenant that water would not destroy humanity again, being born again began to take on meaning. Noah knew that he was spared and that he and those on the ark were “being born again” in that the human race and the representative creation had a new start. They had a new lease on life. Nicodemus’ question was not new in some respects. But, Nicodemus was captured by Jesus and his teaching and knew here was a better way to live than the way he was. God’s works in the past are many and we know them; we hear about them; we remember them to give us hope. Sometimes, God seems distance and even silent. That acknowledgment on our part is the beginning of new birth. The more I grasp on to God and his promises, my new birth continues. God is not forsaking us even when we deem him distant, aloof and well…In fact, the truth of the matter is that God has grasped on to me. It is in those times of my deeming God absent that I best understand his grasping on to me and keeping me from peril. Father, continue to come to my help and rescue me. Jesus Christ has been tested in all ways like human, but he did not sin. Therein rests the hope. New birth in Christ reinforces that Jesus lives his life in and through us. He has been here and done that. Birth is an amazing event. I am so grateful that the birth that began in me forty years ago continues. Conversion is an ongoing process.
Scripture texts are taken from the two-year daily lectionary cycle which follows the liturgical calendar and begins on the First Sunday of Advent.