Born Again? Come On!
The lectionary text for this Sunday is John 3:1-17; the familiar story of old Nicodemus coming to Jesus at night. His opening words are so disarming: "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher come from God." How sweet is that? How wonderful a confession and discovery is that statement? An influential, educated, wealthy and pious man totally "gets" what Jesus is about and who he is. I'm waiting for applause from Jesus. But instead Jesus lays out "You must be born anothen (again, from above)."
I don't like starting over, at all! I like adding to, complementing what I already have accomplished and achieved. I have 27 years of ministry under my belt; a decent understanding of Greek, a pretty full library, lots of sermon manuscripts, 4 churches I have been privileged to serve, lots and lots of committees I have both sat on and led. Surely all that counts for something! Jesus cannot seriously mean these words for me...to start all over, to be born again, to start from scratch?!?! Come on!