A new life in Christ Jesus.
Read the book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" to the children.
In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." John 3:3 (NIV)
In the Bible today, we learn about a man named Nicodemus who came to Jesus late one night, because he was hungry. No, he wasn't looking for a late night snack; he was hungry for spiritual food. He was hungry for the truth about the kingdom of God. He came to Jesus because he had questions and he knew that Jesus would have the answers.
Nicodemus reminds me of the very hungry caterpillar. (Read this part of the book if you have it. If not, you can summarize.) In Eric Carle’s book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," the story begins with a tiny egg on a leaf in the light of the moon. On a Sunday morning, the warm sun came up and--pop!--out of the egg came a very small and very hungry caterpillar. He began to eat and eat and eat, but he was still hungry. Finally, he had eaten so much that he had a stomach ache! The next day was Sunday again. The caterpillar ate through a nice green leaf, and his stomach felt much better.
He built a small house called a cocoon around himself and stayed in there for more than two weeks.
Then he nibbled a hole in the cocoon and pushed his way out. Guess what? He wasn't a caterpillar any more; he was now a beautiful butterfly.
Isn’t that a wonderful story? The very hungry caterpillar reminds me of what Jesus said to Nicodemus. I think the very hungry caterpillar could help Nicodemus understand what Jesus said. Nicodemus said to Jesus,"Teacher, we all know that God has sent you to teach us. No one could perform the miracles that you are doing if God were not with him."
And then Jesus said something so amazing and confusing for Nicodemus. Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God."
"What do you mean?" exclaimed Nicodemus. "How can a man be born again?"
Jesus went on to explain to Nicodemus that a person is "born again" when the Spirit of God enters into his heart. Humans can reproduce human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. And that’s what it means to be born again.
Let’s think about the story of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." When he came out of his cocoon, he was a totally new creation. A butterfly! That's the way it is when we are born again and let Jesus come into our heart. He makes us a new creation!
Dear God, we praise you that in Jesus we are a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! In Jesus name we pray, amen.