In many ways our body is like a car we happen to be driving. It may be motoring us around right now but who we are is greater than it is. And yet, we still allow this “car” of our physical life to define us in limiting ways. Here we stand, for example, the person with the flawed eyesight or the malfunctioning heart. Or we might label ourselves as the person with bad teeth or weak lungs or painful joints. The list of bodily limitations and fears is endless.
What Jesus Christ does, what God sent him to do, is to lift our gaze, to raise our eyes to see the person God intended us to be, the one created in His image. As Jesus explains to Nicodemus, “Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit” (CEB John 3:6).
To be “born of the flesh” is to believe we’re defined by the limited, genetic construction of our physical bodies. To be “born of the Spirit” is to embrace the larger, more vibrant consciousness of life that God is constantly creating in us. And, if we thoughtfully look inside our heart, we’ll realize that this greater individuality of who we are has always been there. We’ve always had a unique personhood, something separate from what the world sees.
Being “born anew,” says Jesus, isn’t something to be “surprised” about but something to gratefully embrace (3:7). To be “born again” or “born from above” is to abandon our dependence on physical impulse and instinctual function—to live “more abundantly” in the calm and quiet of Christ’s eternity (KJ John 10:10). And the living Saviour is right here, always ready to help us do that. For me, that’s what Christianity is about.
Here see your hands, here wiggle your feet. Here lies your heart, feel its every beat. This is our life, appearing to be, all that we’ll know, all there is to “me.” But we are more than nature defines, a living soul with a conscious mind. Not here, not there, but something apart. “Lo, I’m with you,” speaking in our heart. Giving comfort, pushing back the night. Ever awake, lifting us to light. A greater “me” than just hands and feet. Christ’s stronger heart, an eternal beat. (Living Calm 2014)