The Gospel Reading (John 3.1-6) teaches us that Christian Baptism is like being born again - in two distinct experiences. The visible physical part is the water baptism in which there is a washing away or death to the past, self-centred and sin controlled life. Since the Holy Spirit cannot live in an unholy person, water baptism prepares the way for new birth when a person receives and experiences the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
1) Ezekiel teaches us that God will “Gather” us and “bring us back” into right relationship in His Kingdom
Ezekiel (36.24-28) describes the ‘re-covenanting’ of the Hebrews who had broken the Covenant of Moses, rebelled against God and suffered for the 40 years known as the Babylonian Captivity. The root cause of this loss of faith was a failure of parents and synagogue leaders to pass on and nurture their children in the Hebrew Faith. Ezekiel, writing 400 years before Jesus prophesied a new Covenant of washing and cleansing sin away and infilling with the Holy Spirit:
a. Promise of “your own land’ a homeland / protection