John 1:1-2, 14: “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son”

Isn’t it amazing that God, who made everything and is the source of life, recreated Himself in the form of a human baby? God, who was never born because He has always been, is now working Himself through His mother’s birth canal. God who has everything and does not need anything, turns into this bundle of joy demanding constant attention – food, shelter, clean up. All of you parents can probably relate. Not sleeping through the night because Baby needs food! Or Baby has other issues. Diaper needs changing, we can smell it! Oh boy, who is getting up now?

So God became human and needy. That’s just so odd and mind boggling! Why would God do such a thing?

Well, don’t expect anything conventional coming from the creative Godhead, the One who thought up the entire universe! It’s in His nature to come up with something extraordinary, something unexpected to solve a problem – and bridging the ever-widening gulf between the Godhead and His creation is a major problem.

It all began when the seed of distrust was sown, a long time ago, when the fateful words were spoken: “Did God really say?” Ever since there is fear, misinformation, and a lot of superstition. Death puts the stamp of futility on everything we know. The eternal God on the other hand is untouched by death – and seemingly out of touch for us humans.

Then a couple of millennia ago – boom! The Word became human. The Immortal became mortal; God became one of us, and if this is not bridging the great divide, then what else does? The God from way out there touched ground and lived on planet Earth, in the here and now. We could literally touch Him. We could put a face to His name. Looking into His face we see love, and we see glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son: Jesus.

“There He was to everyone’s delight in the middle of the night. What a beautiful wondrous sight!” (Christmas Bolero by Bill & Evelyn Snyder)

1 Peter 1:3: “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation.”

There are several ways to become a family member: one is to be born into a family, another is to be adopted into a family, and yet another is to marry into a family. You can very easily unfriend someone on Facebook. Unfriending a friend in real life is more difficult to do, and it gets even more complicated when it comes to family splits. Let’s say a couple goes through a divorce. It may be feasible to become an ex-in-law without ever looking back, but we all know the implications when children are involved. There is no such thing as an Ex-Dad or an Ex-Mom. However, it may be that children emotionally divorce from their parents for various reasons. If that’s the case, then deep hurt led to such friction. The natural thing is that we’re family for life.

In God’s kingdom we are dealing with such family issues. Essentially all mankind consists of God’s children, some are estranged, some are brought near. Peter refers to the event of coming back together as born again. So does Jesus in his conversation with a scholar named Nicodemus. Here is an excerpt of the conversation (John 3:3-5):

“Jesus replied, ‘With all the earnestness I possess I tell you this: Unless you are born again, you can never get into the Kingdom of God.’ – ‘Born again!’ exclaimed Nicodemus. ‘What do you mean? How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?’ – Jesus replied, ‘What I am telling you so earnestly is this: unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.’”

According to Jesus, the kingdom of God consists of family members only. In order to become a family member human beings have to be born again. Nicodemus’ confusion is understandable. It’s physically unfeasible to insert an already born creature back into the mother’s womb to repeat the birth procedure. So Jesus points out that rebirth is not referring to our physical being but to our spiritual being, and that’s where Jesus lost Nicodemus. Dumbfounded he asks Jesus: ‘What do you mean?’

We can all empathize with Nicodemus, whether we are brought near to the Kingdom of God or whether we’ve managed to stay away from it. Every human being physically arrives at his or her birthday, however, included with the physical package also comes our spiritual being. Some cultures ignore the spiritual aspect of our humanness altogether, while some cultures are very aware. Nevertheless, it’s the spiritual being Jesus is referring to when he uses the terminology ‘born again’. The rebirth of our spiritual being could be compared to an awakening. While sleeping we really have no clue what is going on in the world around us. Similarly, when we’re spiritually asleep, we cannot relate very well to God who is Spirit, and we also have trouble hearing Him.

When we wake up to the reality of the kingdom of God, we wake up to an expanded universe.  Have you ever been asleep trying to force yourself to wake up to escape a bad dream? It’s very hard to do, isn’t it? It goes to show that waking up spiritually begs a touch from a special Someone. And this is what the gospel tune “He Touched Me” is about: The song speaks of the hand of Jesus touching and waking up our spiritual being. People who have experienced that touch will tell you that nothing will ever be the same. When Jesus touches you and me, He opens the door to God’s amazing kingdom. Waking up, we’ll be able to see it. Our ears will be unplugged, and to our amazement we will detect God’s voice who has been speaking to us all along. A touch from the Lord is all it takes to wake up.

He touched me; o He touched me, and o the joy that fills my soul. Something happened and now I know: He touched me and made me whole.” (Bill and Gloria Gaither)