Monday, 4 March 2013
More on conversion
"How then shall we become like him (Jesus) in his death? By having been buried with him through baptism. But how does this burial take place? What benefit has this initiation?
First of all one must break with one' life of the past. This is impossible, unless one is born again, as the Lord said. For regeneration, as is evident from the word itself, is the beginning of a second life. Consequently, before beginning this second life, we must bring the first to an end. As in the double course (where the competitors must run to the turning point and back to the start again) a halt, a brief respite separates the outward run and the return, so also for a change of life it seemed necessary that death intervene between the two lives, to make an end of all that went before and a beginning of all that follows."
St. Basil: On the Holy Spirit
We have lost this very important aspect of the Christian life where people are challenged to make a new beginning in life - symbolised by baptism - where they die to the past and begin a new life with Christ. I know the phrase "born-again" is much maligned, misused and misunderstood, but it belongs to Jesus who wants it to belong to us and the church. And he is pretty categorical about it too. For unless we are "born-again" we will miss out on something pretty important. Nothing less than the Kingdom of God.
I read this morning the following alarming statistics: "Only six per cent of British adults read or listen to the Bible, while 55 per...