Monday, April 13, 2015

Born of the Spirit

Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter

By Melanie Rigney

With great power the Apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all.   (Acts 4:33)

Your throne stands firm from of old; from everlasting are you, O Lord. (Psalm 93:2)

“The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. … If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.” (John 3:8, 12-13)

Lord, may I accept with confidence and gratitude Your gift of the Spirit.

It’s so much easier for us to understand and accept the gifts we receive from the Lord when they are accompanied by outward signs, such as oil and water and rings and the hugs and kisses from family, friends, and other well wishers. Prayer cards, phone calls, rides to the doctor, casseroles, and other signs of support also show us Christ working through others in times of great sorrow, joy or uncertainty.

But what is this “Spirit” thing? Is it any wonder in today’s Gospel that Nicodemus, a learned man, a Pharisee, finds it difficult to comprehend what being born of the Spirit means, even though he says he accepts Jesus is a God-sent teacher? But accepting someone as a teacher is one thing; believing that person is the Messiah, quite another.

Nicodemus did not have the benefit at this point of having seen or having heard of the risen Christ, as the apostles did in today’s first reading. He did not have the benefit at this point of having experienced or having heard of the Holy Spirit coming to dwell within Jesus’s followers. We are blessed with the knowledge of both these amazing signs of the Lord’s love for us. Now, what will we do to share it?

Just for today, put aside your questions about where the Lord is leading your life. Just live it, just for a day, confident in His love and way.

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