Devotion: 2015-05-28

Where Did You Come From?

John 3:1-8

The study of genealogy is being taken up by more and more people.  My sister-in-law, for example, really enjoys tramping through cemeteries looking for long lost relatives.  I have an aunt who’s interested in researching the family tree.  Truth be told, I have the two volume set of every ancestor of the 17th century French soldier Vincent Boissoneau dit Saintonge, of whom I am a direct descendant.  There is a part of us that believes that, by understanding who we come from, we will somehow better understand who we are.

But Jesus says that our natural birth doesn’t get us much.  “That which is born of the flesh is flesh,” Jesus tells the Israeli scholar Nicodemus (John 3:6).  Whether your earthly pedigree is perfect or imperfect, being human is not enough to see the kingdom of God.  In other words, it is not enough to see Christ Jesus who is the coming of the Kingdom of God.  What matters is whether we are “born again,” or “born from above,” or “born of water and the Spirit.”  Unless we can trace our birth to Jesus, it doesn’t matter who our great-great-grandfather or 5th cousin is or was.

In baptism God the Father gives us birth by the Spirit, making Jesus His Son our brother.  We are caught up into a divine community and family, one that lives on forever.  Jesus took our sin into himself and died, so that all of us baptized into Christ might live.  Where do Christians come from?  From God, birthed by him in baptism.

Our Father in Heaven, bless us your children whom you have claimed by your Spirit for your Son.  Help us live faithfully as members of your divine household, now and always.  Amen.