Titus 3:5-6 (New International Version)
5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,
My mind swirled with birth images as I read the verses from the book of Titus this morning. That's the thing about reading God's Word--it is alive--and no two readings yield the same thoughts and insights.
So this morning as I read about rebirth, I saw a baby in my minds eye. For nine months she has lived in a comfortable dark world of muffled sound and perfect, warm temperature. There she has grown--the sound of her mother's heartbeat and voice her constant companions.
Then one day the sojourn in the womb is over, and without notice she is violently thrust from a world with no future, into another world. There is no drama to compare with that of birth--those incredibly emotional hours and minutes when mankind is most closely linked with God the creator, partnering with him to bring a new life into the world. The baby is received by waiting hands that gently wash off the the remnants of the world she has come from--and then the journey begins.
So at rebirth the Holy Spirit washes us of the remnants of the world we come from--renewing and refocusing our mind--and then begins a lifetime of lessons.
Listening, reading , adjusting --hanging out with other "family members"--we need these things--without them there's the danger of returning to a world with no future--an insulated, "safe," warm, comfortable cocoon that leads nowhere. In the Kingdom, status quo is not an option--we grow or die.
God wants to renew us--to wean us off the pablum of self--to build grace and muscle, wisdom and strength into us. To grow us up.
Deuteronomy 10:12-13 (New International Version)
12 And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the LORD's commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?