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.’
Today (March 22) is the birthday of some very famous people. One is William Shatner. He was born on this day in 1931 which means he is 88.
Captain James T. Kirk of the U. S. S. Enterprise will have a birthday today. He will be born in 2233 which is 214 years into the future.
Many of us see the humor and irony that James t. Kirk was the fictional character played by William Shatner in the Star Trek television series and several of the Star Trek movies.
Does that mean William Shatner will be re-incarnated as Captain Kirk? I am sure Captain Kirk’s birthdays was a tongue-in-cheek nod to William Shatner. I will let a true Trekkie expound on that irony.
In the Christian Church, there is the teaching that people can be born again. We do not mean “reincarnation” nor “transmigration of the souls”.
We mean a person can be “born again” in a spiritual sense.
Actually, the word “again” is most often translated from the original language as “from above”.
You’ll note in the passage from above (humor) the phrase Jesus speaks is “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.”
For many of us that changes the agent of being “born from above”. The agent is no longer the self but a source from outside the self. That source would be from God.
God is the reason for our second birth. In John 3:16-17 states the reason:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
The reason for our birth from above is God’s love for us.
May that love from above give you strength on your journey.
Happy birthday William Shatner and Captain James T. Kirk.
Peace Lutheran Church
Mill Valley, California