Monday, January 15, 2018

Dr. Martin Luther King Day - The Wind Blows

When Jesus was in Jerusalem during the Passover festival, many believed in his name because they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part would not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to testify about anyone; for he himself knew what was in everyone.
Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?
“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” John 2:23 – 3:15 (NRSV)

I grew up with this speech on my lips. "I have a dream" and I was fortunate to meet Dr. King as a child. I know that some thing dreams only to be the activity of our subconscious and our inner self, yet I am convinced that dreams come on the wind, a gift and challenge of the Holy Spirit. God works even when we sleep and we often hear and see best when we are silent and at rest. I have been dreaming about new possibilities and new challenges. The dream can die or we can put ourselves in the middle of this destructive world and sing until the dream is carried world wide again on the wind.

Jesus invites a night visitor, Nicodemus, that he must be born again. Born again of the Spirit. The very committed religious leader is overwhelmed by Jesus' challenge as are we. Yet God invites us all to be born again of the Holy Spirit, not once, but daily. We are called, now more than ever, to listen to the Spirit, on the wind, in our dreams, and in the voice of our children, and be born again so that we might live for others. We must be born again daily so God can use us for the healing and redemption of the world.

Today, I ask God to wash over me, take away my pride and attitudes and fill me again with the Holy Spirit. May the nightmares of our times be replaced by the dream of God, that all children, from every nation and culture, might be blessed with freedom, and be filled with God's love.

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