First Steps

“I was a Christian for twenty-two years. But instead of being a twenty-two year old Christian, I was a one-year-old Christian twenty-two times!” Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, Pete Scazzero

We don’t have much to do with our physical birth. 

We don’t choose the date or the time. We don’t choose the circumstances. The whole process of how a spark becomes a complex network that is knit together to create a human being is mind bending to me. Each and every human being is a marvelous creation. We are individuals, unique. Yet, we share many commonalities. Incredibly dedicated people spend their entire careers studying the human body and it’s miraculous systems. They still cannot completely explain how it all works. We know theories. We have data. We continue to work tirelessly to crack the codes of disease forever trying to beat the one enemy humanity simply cannot overcome…death.

Isn’t it interesting Jesus uses birth to describe the beginning of our spiritual life?

Unlike our physical birth, we do contribute to how and when we begin a spiritual life. The whole process of how a spark becomes the complex network that is knit together to offer a human soul an invitation to enter into a new life of eternal significance is mind bending to me. It is a marvelous event to share. I never tire of watching the tears flow from the eyes of someone who’s made the connection. Much like our physical development, we are called to develop and mature in spiritual stature. Sadly, many people stay stuck in the delivery room of their spiritual journey. They have no idea what’s possible. They haven’t pressed the doors open to a robust spiritual life that’s waiting for them just outside the door of the delivery room.

Why don’t more people venture out of the delivery room?

Since each of us is unique, we have our very own set of hang-ups, habits and histories. One common reason I hear for not responding is “I know what Christians are like. I don’t want to be like ________.” Now, I don’t know what your theology is or whether you believe the devil’s schemes are at work or not, but I believe we can botch this up without any tampering from the evil one. We’ve made an adventurous spiritual life either infinitely complex or incredibly dull. We are constantly tempted to diminish the powerful, creative, ingenuous acts of God by settling for a life prescribed by a counterfeit belief system based in a set of laws ruled by command and control. Religion can get in the way with rules and regulations when Jesus simply invites us to participate in the spiritual life with the offer of a relationship.

Jesus and Nicodemus take first steps together.

Nicodemus is somebody. He worked most of his adult life in religion and was a member of the Sanhedrin—the ruling Council of justice in Jerusalem. Nicodemus entered the Temple daily to worship God. He prayed. He memorized scripture. Yet, he must have known something was missing. So, Nicodemus went to see Jesus at night. I believe Nicodemus was familiar with sleepless nights. I believe he struggled with his spiritual life. How can someone be so close yet so far away? What Nicodemus found that night wasn't a complicated legal strategy or a theological recipe to follow. What Nicodemus discovered was the love of God present in the man he knew as Jesus. This same Rabbi Jesus incredulously challenged one of Israel’s great teachers to believe that the Kingdom of God wasn’t wrapped up in regulations or found among the polished stones of the Temple. The spiritual life Nicodemus longed for was something that needed to born within him.

Join us this Sunday for worship. This powerful story will be shared in such a way that could help you may make a discovery of your own. Maybe this Sunday you will push open the doors to welcome a brand new spiritual life of your very own.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV