This weekend in eTown we’re telling kids the story of Nicodemus’ meeting with Jesus as recorded in John 3. In verses 5 through 8, Jesus uses the word pneuma several times for two different meanings, and I think he’s being purposefully ambiguous.
Pneuma is the Greek word for both “wind” and “Spirit,” and in this case it’s quite significant. I think Jesus is alluding to the life of someone who is “born of the Spirit.”
That life is characterized by trust. Complete trust in the movement of the Spirit to the extent that our own agendas, our own plans, all take a backseat to what God is doing in our lives.
To the outsider, it might seem completely random. I mean, why give up stability to go somewhere “on a whim”? Why pass on some amazing career opportunities in publishing to start a church community from scratch? Why leave the town you grew up in for an uncomfortable living situation?
But to those born of the Spirit, these are the only options that make sense. How can I not go where the Spirit leads? How can I, when faced with what he has revealed to me through Scripture, when staring at the reality of a world ravaged by sin, worry about my agenda?
When there’s just too much at stake?
When we are “born again,” we surrender our lives to a mission. We give our lives over to the making of disciples, and there is no task more important than that. If that takes us to the most illogical places, or settles us in what we’ve always called home, no matter how random or nonsensical it may appear, it’s what we were (re)born for.
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”