From The Womb

Are you more of a pack animal or a rugged individualist?

Pack Animals

  1. Like the group
  2. Feel at home with others
  3. Seek acceptance
  4. Function best in a team

Rugged Individualist

  1. Avoids groups
  2. Nervous around people
  3. Doesn’t need validation
  4. Functions best on their own

Which describes you? Or do you have characteristics of both?

Fitting & Blending

Society doesn’t care what you are, just obey the law and pay your taxes. If you don’t like the law and the taxes, then head for the Rockies and become a mountain man, or woman. Except, most of us would die the first winter.

So, it’s the city for us. Part of a community, one of the heard, a decent neighbor. We’ll need to fit in and blend a little. If you’re a pack animal, it’s not a problem. If you’re a rugged individualist, it’s going to chap a bit.

In Matters of Faith

Jesus our Messiah said:

“I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of the water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” (John 3:5-6)

Pack animal or individualist, both are born again for kingdom entrance. But the appeal is different. One is drawn to the sacred community. The other is drawn to the decision, choosing for himself to enter the kingdom. Both enter by mercy and grace.

A Spirit Thing

Pack or individual, both are reborn by the power of the Holy Spirit. For the Spirit gives brith to spirit. Its divine, miraculous, and purposed in the Holy Trinity. 

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It’s the new birth, by the power of the Spirit.

To Close

My heart is nurtured by the sacred community. My soul is fed by the solitude of the mountains. I experience God in both, from inside his Kingdom.

It’s the new birth, from the womb of Christ, it’s a Spirit thing.

Shalom

The Believer’s Party!

Not all events are celebrations; most, but not all. Celebratory events are:

  1. Weddings
  2. Birthdays
  3. Anniversaries
  4. Retirements
  5. Promotions
  6. Victories (big wins)
  7. Commencements

We plan, prepare, and pray over weddings. We spend every dollar we can. The ceremony isn’t the rub; it’s the reception that launches costs over the moon. Just ask a father of daughters, or a single mother.

Big wedding anniversaries are amazing events. We get dressed up and marvel at two people who are still in love after 50 years. It’s fabulous.

High School, college, and grad-school commencements are celebrated. Big promotions at work, professional advancements, are reasons to celebrate. We rejoice and lift our voices in honor of another’s success.

But Not All Events

Not everything is a party. Not every event is happy. But they are no less significant, and no less important.

  1. Funerals
  2. Memorial Services
  3. Going away parties
  4. Loved ones in their final moments of life
  5. Divorce proceedings, especially in court

These aren’t the bright and happy experiences; none are sought nor celebrated. But they are no less significant, and no less important.

What About Believers?

What about the significant events for a believer? How important is the new birth? Should it be celebrated? Is the moment of being raised to live the new life something to be lifted up and honored?

Some Thoughts

Over the past four weeks the ministry at Southeast has experienced significant responses to the New Birth. I’ve had the pleasure of joining 22 adults with Christ, and 4 young people have also experienced the believer’s immersion.

I’ve seen grown men cry uncontrollably. I’ve held them as the guilt, fear, and doubt were lifted from their hearts and souls. I’ve witnessed adults, ages thirty to eighty, come seeking the cleansing of the Lamb of God and then watched them go on their way rejoicing.

Some Observations

Weddings are about two becoming one. There is an ending of separate individualities and a joining of two into one flesh. For that there is a party.

Funerals honor the life that was and rejoice at the life that will be. There is an ending of life on earth and a beginning of life in glory. For that there is a dinner of honor.

In The New Birth

The sinful individual joins with Jesus in the New Birth, there is a death and a new life. For that shouldn’t there be a party?

Most of us enjoy  weddings. Jesus is the husband of the church, his bride. The bride’s dowry was paid with his own blood. The New Birth is the wedding ceremony between the believer and the head of the church, it’s where the two become one. For that shouldn’t there be a celebration?

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Let’s Finish

Events both happy and sad happen everyday, and with them the emotions and resources appropriate to the occasion.

The New Birth should be lifted up: celebrated, honored, and remembered. It should be recognized as the most important, most significant day in a lifetime of days.

Is this how it is?

Just a thought.

Shalom

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