Jesus answered Nicodemus, “What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I have told you, ‘You must be born from above.’”
A few nights ago, I celebrated a junior ring ceremony at Ursuline Academy. It was a beautiful event full of faith, tradition, elegance, friendship and unity. All the kids were dressed in their beautiful red graduation gowns. They all looked the same. So what do we do when everyone looks the same? What happens? Well, we start looking for differences. And I have to admit, I looked too. I think it is a consequence of the Fall. I caught myself looking at the types of shoes the kids were wearing. After a few minutes, I discretely looked around the audience to see what others were doing. I was not alone. Many had their eyes focused on the shoes the kids were wearing. I thought to myself, “Aha! I am not the only one that fell into this trap.” I guess there is nothing wrong with looking for differences, as long as they are not defects we are seeking. We all know that if we look long enough at anyone, we will always find defects. What an awful tendency we have of looking down rather than looking up. No wonder the Lord speaks of looking up; of being “born from above.”
I cannot emphasize enough the important role Christians have in society. We have been called to rock the earth; to shake things up; to shake people up. “As the first Christians prayed over Peter and John, the place where they were gathered shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.”
To me, it is just as impressive to see someone shake as it is to see the ground shake. It’s nothing short of a miracle to move a soul to repentance as if it were a mountain of dirt.
The Lord invites his people to not only stop seeking what is below and to start seeking what is above, but also to be from above. That is, BE ANOTHER CHRIST! Be bold. Be courageous. Be holy.
Nicodemus was a man that had too much to lose. That is the reason why he felt comfortable being around Jesus, but only in the dark. He never got around to coming around. He was a man of good intentions but not so good with action.
“It’s the economy stupid.” I’ve noticed something. I’ve noticed how schizophrenic we are. When you go to most school, it’s all about the brain. When you go to see a movie, it’s all about the heart. When you go to a restaurant it’s all about food. When you vote, it’s all about the economy. But life isn’t like that. Communists thought they could quiet us with guaranteed employment. Scientists think they can conquer us with power and tools. Experts think they can satisfy us with their wealth of knowledge. Politicians think they can appease us with all their promises. They are all wrong! When we eat food it goes everywhere within our system. When we look at the sunset it moves the heart to sing, the soul to dance and the mind to write poetry. When we work it’s not for money it’s for a purpose. When we elect someone, it’s to be represented properly.
Our biggest problem is that we never seem to get to the bottom of things, and if we never get to the bottom of things, we won't get on top of things. If we keep seeking short term solutions then we will lose sight of permanent solutions. Our schools, our homes, our families and our children are suffering not because we don’t have enough stuff or staff or funding or timing. We are suffering because we do not seek what is above. It is the Lord that provides direction. If we don't seek that which is above us, we won't have much below us. We seem to come to the Lord during tragedies and funerals. It seems like we only reach out to Him during the night.
Jesus Christ is the only one that invites us to be more than just sentimental, practical and intelligible. He is the only one that invites us to be more than human. He wants us to be from above.
Don’t let that which is from below drive you! It’s not about the economy; it’s about dignity, and the Lord supplies plenty of that to man.