His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
—2 Peter 1:3–4
There is no event that compares to the birth of a firstborn child. That mixture of fear and excitement and joy when experienced for the first time is unrivaled by even the best rides at Disney World, that acme of American institutions whose aims are to produce those emotions through artificial means. This shouldn’t be a surprise—it is difficult to compete with witnessing a miracle—nevertheless, most people feel that it is a bit of a surprise, as the emotional impact is far more than they expected.
We have another chance at being a part of the birth process. Jesus told us that we must be born again, and whether we have some great conversion experience or we have been Christians since infancy, we have a chance to experience and participate in that process. For whether our faith is new or old, the reborn soul has many opportunities to give birth to virtues.
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Thomas S. Buchanan is the George W. Laird Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware. He has studied at UCSD, Northwestern University, and MIT, and has held visiting professorships at the University of Western Australia and the University of Aix-Marseille. He has served as department chairman, deputy dean, and institute director, president of the American Society of Biomechanics, and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Applied Biomechanics. He is on the Board of Trustees of Saint Katherine College, the editorial board of Touchstone, and the board of The Fellowship of St. James.
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