Happy Rebirth Day!

Each year, we have the chance to celebrate the gift of life by giving and receiving birthday gifts and messages. I appreciate the warm sentiments, silly cards and simple acknowledgments of all the ways in which our lives are woven together.

One year, I received a message that has forever influenced the way I view birthdays. It read: 

“On your birthday, I send you happy rebirth-day wishes! I have no better gift to give than the one you have already received in Christ Jesus, our Lord: His (birthday) presence.  May He abide with you always, and you with Him. You have been reborn into a living hope and received an imperishable inheritance. Nothing on earth could ever top the celebration in heaven that occurred at the moment of your rebirth. So, happy rebirth-day, my sister in Christ, forever. Amen.” 

Fellow Christ-followers, we have a birthday— and we praise God for the gift of life— but we have an even more important day to mark and celebrate. Our re-birth day.

This is our spiritual rebirth, when we have been brought from spiritual death to eternal life. Eternity with Christ begins— not the day of our death—but of our rebirth. 

If you are in Christ, then your new life begins now, and you will forever enjoy it with Him! We celebrate because we are living in the eternal reality of the kingdom of heaven. Right here and now. Our future is forever changed, peace with God secured, with hope for every moment and every day that we live out our physical lives. 

Matthew and Luke give us the historic events surrounding Jesus’ birth, but John’s gospel opens with a theological incarnation narrative, holding the possibility of something momentous: our being born again. John 1:1-5, 10-13 (emphasis added): 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. … He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”

John 1:1-5, 10-13

John describes children born not of natural descent nor of human decision, but born of God. Something different is going on here. John is saying that something fundamentally changes when a person believes in Jesus and receives Him. That person is reborn. 

This is not flowery language, or metaphor. It describes two kinds of realities— those who are reborn and those who are not. Jesus tells us more in his exchange with Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, who came to him in the dark of night, curious. 

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

John 3:3-7

Think back to the day you were born, you did nothing to make it happen and arrived completely needy. Our lives are truly a gift we receive. Our spiritual rebirth is much the same. 

We are reborn through the work of the Spirit, and it is a free gift of grace we receive. (Ephesians 2:1-9) If you have not yet received this free gift, I urge you to do so today. Do not delay, and consider this your invitation to enter the kingdom of God.

Perhaps, you have been a Christian for a long time, but the beauty of being reborn has grown distant or dim— let’s commit to rejoice together, for each re-birth is truly a miracle! Do not let another year go by without marking your Rebirth day.

Here is one place to start. Read I Peter 1:3-9 below. This is one of the most beautiful descriptions in Scripture of what it means to be reborn. Let’s marvel together at the new reality we have received— we are born to a living hope, given through Jesus’ resurrection and an inheritance that is kept safe. Even now, as we wait for our faith to be made sight, we are guarded by God’s power! 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:3-9

Yes, our time on earth will include trials, but when weighed against all that is ours, we cannot help but rejoice with inexpressible joy.  

Here, then is the question: “When is your re-birth day?” If you don’t know, Easter is a great calendar marker to celebrate your rebirth. And how could we not, when we know all that Jesus has given us through this new life!

If you are looking for a way to celebrate, an easy place to start is sending Rebirth Day cards, found here: https://carmenlaberge.myshopify.com/collections/all

Photo by Richard Burlton on Unsplash