Happy Birthday! (One will not do)
Birthdays are a time -as the name suggests- to remember the day of someone’s birth. Last week we celebrated Katie’s 12th birthday together. I think she had a good time, and I’m sure one of the highlights must have been being serenaded (albeit digitally) by Neil as he sang “Happy Birthday” to her. As members of the Ebenezer WhatsApp Family group will know by now, our Happy Birthday has some additional words:
‘Happy birthday to you, only one will not do
Take Christ as your Saviour, and then you’ll have two!’
These words take us to a conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus in John 3. Jesus says to Nicodemus: ‘very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’
The word translated ‘again’ can also mean ‘from above’ so which is best? Which does John intend his readers to hear? Both! Both are true, to see the Kingdom, to enter the Kingdom, we must be born again. Just as we have been born physically, so we must be born spiritually. This means that all true Christians are born-again believers. Born again Christians then are not a specific type; ultra-committed, extra-enthusiastic believers. We have all been born again into a new life lived with God and for God.
Every person who is born again is also born ‘from above’, that is to say that our re-birth is ultimately a work of God. Have you been born again? Congratulations! You are a walking talking miracle!
Tuesday saw us remember the day Katie was born. But we also reflected on how much she has grown over the years. Similarly, we ought to see growth in spiritual maturity over the years of our Christian lives. Maybe this week we could each spend time reflecting on how we have grown in the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and asking the Lord to help us to grow more in one or two specific areas. As a child watches and copies his or her parents, determined to be a big boy or girl, we should want to be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. (Ephesians 5:1)