Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again
Are you “born again”?
When Jesus talks about being born again with Nicodemus, he’s talking about being born from above. It’s a spiritual rebirth, where we submit a change of address form from this world, stating clearly that God is our source and that we claim God as our divine parent. Everything we do should follow from this new origin story.
But what if we talk about Jesus being born again? That would be something very different.
Christmas is a celebration of Jesus’ birth — the first one, but it’s also an anticipation of Jesus’ return. As Christians, we believe that Jesus will come again to usher in a new age, when the whole world will see God’s Kingdom coming to reign here on earth.
Many of us Protestant types don’t spend a lot of time thinking about that. After all, Jesus himself said no one will know the time when Jesus is to come. But what if this year, as we prepare to remember that first birth, we spend a little time pondering the next birth, when Jesus is born again.
Maybe Jesus comes in the clouds, as scriptures have said. Maybe Jesus has already returned to us, as a gentle child, growing up in some obscure part of the world. Maybe Jesus is a wise teen, learning and growing until the time comes to be presented to the world. Maybe there’s a couple, somewhere we’re not expecting, who is expecting something special this year for Christmas.
Maybe, Maybe, Maybe. Again, I don’t profess to know how Jesus’ will return, but the idea has me moving beyond the typical trappings of Christmas. Instead of just warm feelings and fond remembrances, what if Christmas could be filled with the excitement of the unknown-yet-promised coming of our savior? Lord knows we need one.
And then again, who’s to say Jesus would pop into the world on December 24th? That’s almost certainly not his original birthday, so why not carry the anticipation into the new year? Maybe Jesus comes on February 3rd or July 4th, or September 30th? Whenever and however it happens, it will be a glorious event. Even if it doesn’t happen in our lifetime, you and I can soak up some considerable joy at the knowledge that the future (and the present and past) is in God’s hands.
While we wait for the possibility of Jesus to be born again, let’s use this opportunity for us to be born again this Christmas. Not just with the same traditions (which I love) but also a renewed commitment to being God’s children. To walking in the ways of the Kingdom. To doing our part as disciples to help with the inbreaking of the Kingdom that began with Christ and continues to this day.
Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again. Those words are typically associated with Easter, but this year they can be our Christmas mantra as well. Maybe it’s already happened. Maybe next year, or 300 years from now, but this belief is at the core of our Christian experience.
That hope is enough to make this Christmas a merry one. And if we don’t hear news of Jesus’ triumphant return this Christmas season, let’s check in periodically to make sure we keep looking.
If that’s the case…
I’ll see you on February 3rd.
Have a good week,
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