On this Second Sunday in Lent, we continue our series, Seeking: honest questions for deeper faith. This week we consider the question – How do we begin again? In worship we hear from our Agape choir. Marc Middleton delivers a message for our young people. Pastor Kayla shares a bit of her own story with new beginnings. And, we share in Communion – during communion an impromptu choir sings a beautiful rendition of You Are the Bread. If you missed worship, rewatch below.
Scriptures: Genesis 12:1-4 and John 3:1-17
by Carmelle Beaugelin
Inspired by John 3:1-17
Conté crayon, charcoal, acrylic, gold gild on paper
I was raised in a Spanish-speaking Pentecostal church in Miami called “Renacimiento.” A simple translation of renacimiento to English means “rebirth” or “renaissance.” For my small Pentecostal
church, renacimiento meant far more than the symbolism of being“ born-again” Christians. It was a perpetual reminder that each time the saints gather to encounter Jesus, the Spirit calls us to continuous transformation, calling dead things into new life and Holy Spirit-filled revival.
It is no wonder that Nicodemus seeks Jesus in the cover and darkness of night. It is in the quiet of night that our deepest fears startle us awake, that our anxieties of the day keep us from sound rest, and that
the fear of the death of our dreams and bodies looms. As rapper Nas wrote in his debut album, Illmatic, “sleep is the cousin of death.”
Yet Jesus challenges Nicodemus’ seeking in the night with a call to be born again, to renacimiento. Not just improvement, but transformation. Not simply resuscitation of what is and was, but a complete resurrection of what could and will be. In this image, a metaphorically disrobed, aging, and vulnerable Nicodemus, surrounded by the milky gray swirls of water and spirit, wonders: How can this be? Haven’t I reached past my benchmarks? How is it that you are calling me to begin again?
We may see ourselves in Nicodemus today, holding the same questions in the sleeplessness of our darkest nights. Yet, what if we chose to hold fast to the faith that responds to our seeking? Jesus promises us that the winds and waters of the Spirit will lead us toward our own new beginning. Each of us will experience renacimiento if we dare to seek it.