17 April, Monday — Born From Above

Monday of the 2nd Week of Eastertide

Acts 4:23-31
Jn 3:1-8

…they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to proclaim the word of God boldly.

It’s strange how God works, how the Holy Spirit works. We don’t seem to understand till we look back on hindsight. We find ourselves saying… “If I didn’t go through this, it wouldn’t have led me to…”, “My life, all my ups and downs has led me to this moment; has prepared me for this moment…”

How true when in our Gospel today, it says, “The wind blows wherever it pleases; you hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. That is how it is with all who are born of the Spirit.” Our lives will always be filled with uncertainty, or a space that we can choose to control, or to co-operate with the grace of God. I think we sometimes find it hard to trust or to hold the space, especially for the ones we love the most; we want to do something for them because we love them, to the extent that sometimes, we end up controlling them. We think that is what God desires for the person and we go all out to ‘achieve that goal’.

I believe what is important is that the individual should also choose that path, versus it being somewhat ‘forced’ upon them, as they would like to seem like they listen and to please the other.

We want what’s best for the other, but God knows what’s really best. The strange thing is even in such a scenario, when we feel stifled and it seems like there is no way out, the Holy Spirit is still working in our lives. We, again, may not know it or see it yet, and this could be why the Gospel today asks us to be born from above, to be born of the Spirit.

To be born again is to decrease in ourselves so that God can increase in ourselves, trusting that if God were to put us to it, He will put us through it. To be born of the Spirit is to live our lives in the Spirit — we know we are cooperating with the Spirit when we see and experience the fruits of the Spirit, in our lives and that of those around us.

As we continue to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, may we too learn to die to ourselves so that we can resurrect with Him. May Jesus’ example remind us that even if we see ‘crucifixion’ ahead for ourselves or for our loved ones, it doesn’t necessarily end in death, but new life. May we all be born again, born of the Spirit. Amen.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Benjamin Mao)

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to allow you in to the spaces of our lives, help us to cooperate with Your grace and the Holy Spirit. To trust You and to know that You love us more than we can ever love ourselves. Amen.

Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for keeping your covenant with us; thank you for dying and rising for us. May we be born again so as to rise with You. Amen.

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