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Word of Grace: John 3:3
Pastor Rick Johnson
Pastor Rick Johnson - photo by Image submitted

John 3:3 Jesus responded and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless someone is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.

 This verse was part of the lesson that we heard read at both St. John’s and Jerusalem Lutheran Churches on Sunday. As I said, then, I truly believe that this is something does not happen in the blink of an eye. It is rather a process of Jesus working with us and within our hearts that happens over the course of our lives when we seek God’s guidance, purpose, and direction for us.

 It also reminds me of the quote from Irresistible Evangelism by Steve Sjogren: "Sometimes I wish I could be born all over again. I'd really like to start over from scratch."

 There are times when I think I’d love to dial back to a time in my younger years when I could use the lifetime of accumulated experiences to perhaps make different decisions, say and do different things. I think we all have those moments… 

 I’m mindful of the story of the young person who got caught up with the wrong crowd and later became involved in the sorts of things that some people just do not come back from. During their recovery, this person talked about being miserable and lonely –– most of us have had at least one moment in our lives when we can relate to feeling that way. Many of us were lonely, miserable and incredibly picked on and/or bullied in high school. But the “wrong crowd” had accepted this person, and they soon became a part of that self-destructive culture focused on all the wrong things. But they were still miserable. They said:

"Sometimes I wish I could be born all over again.

I'd really like to start over from scratch."

Scripture tells us that with God, all things are indeed possible (Matthew 19:26) and we can begin anew was the point Jesus was trying to make to Nicodemus that evening. It took a while, but Nicodemus did come around and was a defender of Jesus before the Pharisees (John 7:50-52) and was later one of the men, along with Joseph of Arimathea, who buried Jesus’ body after his crucifixion.

 We can begin again. We can choose to begin in prayer; seeking God’s help, presence, and guidance to make new choices and redirect our lives with a new focus and we can do that today.

 Let Us Pray:

Good and Gracious God:  While we walk as yet by faith, help us to realize that we are never alone. Help us also to acknowledge your presence, seek your guidance and care in our lives and acknowledge that with you is hope. With your strength, all things are possible, Heavenly Father, help us to turn again and return to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.