Can you be born again?

John 3:1-8

For many Christians this passage has become divisive.

But I believe that just as we all learn in different ways: So the spirit develops in us in

Born again
different ways. For some people it is God’s gentle spirit whispering to us, and others need a road to Damascus experience to believe.

Nicodemus was a man of faith, Jesus was trying to tell him that his way was different and that you had to acknowledge that difference, and you could do that by being born again by Water and the Spirit. There had to be a difference between what Jesus was preaching and what Nicodemus believed otherwise this conversation wouldn’t have taken place.

I believe that this conversation is about change: A change that takes place within you, that changes your whole life.

And that change can take time or can happen in an instant. Some people know the exact time and place they felt this change, and for others it’s a gradual process that they can’t define.

But one thing that everyone shares is the process of change, because being a Christian does change your life.

We all go through a process of growing and changing in our mother’s womb before we are born into the world. All of us have been born, if I hadn’t been born I wouldn’t be writing this. If you weren’t born you wouldn’t be able to read this.

It’s then that we take our first breath and we become our own person. We are all different unique and we all learn in different ways at different rates.

The spirit changes us, helps us to see things that we haven’t seen before. With the Spirit in our lives to guide us, we see the world in a different new way. The Spirit helps us become the person we are supposed to be.

Jesus was telling Nicodemus that you have to be born again, you have to leave your old way of life behind, your old way of believing. You have to begin again. Being born again would mean starting life again and this can happen at any time in your life – even as a grown man.

John the Baptist had offered water as a way of symbolising this change, washing away your sins and beginning afresh, anew… but Jesus offered more, water and the Spirit. The same Spirit which was with God in the beginning, creating the world. The same Spirit which whispered to Samuel’s name, which burned the bush that Moses stood before, that gave Noah the strength despite the mockery to build the ark, inside Mary the Spirit grew Jesus. Whoever the Spirit touched their life was changed, transformed.

That same transforming Spirit works in us today.

It’s a bit like being a caterpillar, crawling along, eating leaves moving from one plant to
Butterfly Metamorphosis
another. Seeing the world from the ground. One day you feel very tired and during that sleep the Spirit whispers to you, you grow, change, develop and when you emerge you see things very differently, you have changed – your life will never be the same.

I have used this illustration as it’s easy for children to understand the development and change that happens within the life cycle of a butterfly.

Over the years I have developed this into a craft.

A very simple worship song you can teach the children.

Spirit of the Living God.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me,
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us.
Melt us, mold us, fill us, use us,
Spirit of the livin
g God, fall afresh on us.
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About Michelle Bailey

Reverend Michelle Bailey is the Rural Officer for the Bishop of Brecon and Swansea  She previously worked in Children's Ministry and was ordained in the Church of England. Her blog includes ideas on presenting concepts of faith to young children to the age of eleven and furthering faith development in an educational context. Michelle currently lives in Wales and is also developing a rural ministry blog.
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