Pastor’s viewpoint: May 12, 2018
Published 1:45 pm Monday, May 14, 2018
UNICEF estimates that an average of 353,000 babies are born every day around the world. The crude birth rate is 18.9 births per 1,000 people or 255 births every minute or 4.3 births every second (as of the December 2013 estimate). Our current world population is approximately 7.2 billion and growing.
The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services tells us there is one live birth every eight seconds or seven and a half births every minute or 10,800 births every day x 365 = 3,942,000 births every year. The current population of the United States of America is 324,975,983 as of Sept. 21, 2017, based on the latest United Nations estimates, and the United States population is equivalent to 4.3 percent of the total world population. America ranks number 3 in the list of countries (and dependencies) by population.
You can find all of this and much more at www.census.gov. When I checked it while writing this, the population of the U. S. was 325,951,426 … 7 … 8 …. There is one birth every seven seconds and one death every 12 seconds. There is also one international migrant born every 32 seconds for a net gain in America of one person every 12 seconds … bottom line; we are growing by five people every minute or 300 people every hour or 7,200 people every day!
“Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So, it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”” (John 3:1-8)
I think Jesus was saying we are born twice. The first is a physical birth and the second is a spiritual birth. The physical birth into a sinful world ensures that I too will become a sinner, so I need to be “born again” as something other than a sinner … a saint.
I think that means to be given a second chance. I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve wished I’d had a “do-over.”
Charles “Buddy” Whatley is a retired United Methodist pastor and a missionary to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.