Rev. Michael Brewer speaks about Charleston, SC
Thinking of Charleston, South Carolina
Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is reborn from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus said to him: How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter into his mother’s womb a second time and be born, can he?
5 Jesus answered: Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born out of water and the spirit wind, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
— John 3
What does it mean to be born again?
For most Christians, the idea is connected with the baptism of conversion, or with an experience of revelation, revival. The concept of actually being born again is dismissed as an impossible hypothesis, the one put forward to Jesus as a question by Nicodemus under the stars of night. Not many Christians will consider reincarnation when faced with the requirement: You must be born again. But let us consider what the concept of reincarnation could mean in connection with the tragedy of the past week in South Carolina.
What can it mean for the victims? Perhaps, for those who have unexpectedly entered the spiritual world while contemplating the spiritual world, it can mean a great task in a future earth life: to bring to expression on earth what they were contemplating at the moment of death.
What can it mean for their families and friends? Perhaps they will be born with a greater sense of how close we all are to the spiritual world.
What can it mean for the young man who brought about the tragedy? He must also be born again, and must face the tasks in future lives that will bring redemption for himself and reconciliation with those whose life courses he has so terribly changed.
And for the rest of us? An event which a hundred years ago might have passed virtually unnoticed is placed before us so that we cannot ignore it. Our contemplation of the event may lead us ever more clearly in future earth lives to the realization that humanity is one, that we must unequivocally answer Yes to the question which will more and more resound within us: Am I my brother’s keeper?
Many Christians are quite at home with the idea that some of us are doomed to eternal damnation. Is this a Christian thought? Perhaps a true Christian will contemplate the words of Christ, and know: we must all be born again.