Challenging Thoughts for the Gospel read on Sunday, May 27, 2017 (Trinity)

Jesus’ call to be born again or born from above is a call for change at a fundamental level.  It is a re-making of who we are.

Most of us are more comfortable with change at a cosmetic level—a superficial rather than a fundamental change.  The syndicated columnist, Mike Royko, once wrote tongue-in-cheek that he planned to make some changes in his life.  He planned to improve his appearance by wearing clean shorts and socks that matched.  He also planned to wear one necktie to Italian restaurants and another to Chinese restaurants so that he wouldn’t get stains that clashed.

Jesus calls for more!

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The intention of Christianity

was to change everything.

Soren Kierkegaard

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Great changes do not begin on the surface of society,

but in prepared hearts:

in people, who, by communion with God,

rise above the apathy of the age,

and speak with living vital energy,

and give life to the community and tone to the public mind.

Edward Beecher

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A cartoon expressed well the difficulty of becoming a new person.  The cartoon showed two butterflies talking about the wonderful thing that had happened to them.  One said to the other, “Looks like we made it from larva to pupa to adult, but it sure wasn’t easy.”

Becoming a new person is not easy either.  We cannot do it on our own.  Only by the power of God is it possible to become a new person.

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The Lord works from the inside out.

The world works from the outside in.

The world would take people out of the slums.

Christ takes the slums out of people,

and then they take themselves out of the slums.

The world would mold men by changing their environment.

Christ changes men, who then change their environment.

The world would shape human behavior,

But Christ can change human behavior.

Ezra Taft Benson

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