I am still developing my sermon from John 3. Yesterday I talked about Nicodemus coming to Jesus in the darkness. Today I am breaking down being born again.
For many of us, born again is Ned Flanders. Conservative, happy, modestly dressed, (but with Jesus abs) are traits of born again Christians. Heck, he is even left handed. So, this is what we see, and even more importantly what the world see's when we think of being born again. Is this what Jesus see's?
How can rebirth happen? Nicodemus thinks like we do, like people do. Can a man crawl back into the womb and be re-born? No, thought some men try. So what is Christ talking about?
We are to re-born in the spirit. Jesus uses a wind metaphor, and we can look at this in our lives. The spirit is the breeze that re-ignites the flame in our fire. We don't know where it comes from or where it goes, but it does marvelous things while it's here.
I could comment on re-birth by baptism or how we are given new lives once the spirit lives within us. I could- but Ned Flanders is better at that than I. There in lies the problem- Ned Flanders is a cartoon character, and few people that don't know the cartoon will take him seriously.
If you don't know the spirit, if you don't live through Christ, how can you understand how the church condemns if we aren't born again? If we can't explain things in a very basic but real way, (like Jesus does,) how can we reach the un-churched?
Jesus does save the upper middle class white church goers. He also saves the migrant workers, the jailed African American dope seller, the pregnant teen with crack issues. The wind blows where the wind blows, we can't control it. The spirit can re-kindle flames in people anywhere as well.