Nicodemus : Overcome What Frightens Us

As we continue into the season of Lent, the gospel according to John takes us on a metaphorical adventure. On Sunday we’ll hear about the religious scholar, Nicodemus, and his life-changing middle-of-the-night conversation with Jesus. What does it mean to be born anew?

There’s a story about a man in Hawaii who was lost at sea, alone, in a boat. When he made it back to shore after several days afloat, he exclaimed that he found his way back by watching at night – the sky was filled with stars, but the pure darkness ahead he knew was land, and he moved towards it. Too often we reject the shadowy place as a place where life can be revealed and yet, for Nicodemus, it is a meeting with Jesus at night that offers him the chance of transformation. Isn’t it true that when we dare to take a look at what most frightens us, we can be surprised by what God reveals to us.

The last couple of verses of John 3 are almost too well-known in our culture, and are sometimes used in a contradictory way to what would seem to be their intent. The statement that whoever believes will have eternal life does not imply that those who do not believe will not have eternal life. This wonderful statement of inclusion of all who follow Christ must never be seen as condemning those who do not. I invite you to the ‘yearning wall’ on Sunday morning to explore, together in community, the teachings of Jesus.

Loving God, sometimes, we are scared to trust. We know we should, and we want to, but our world’s obsession with certainty and appearing to be in control can get in the way. Open us, God. Make us vulnerable. Teach us not to be afraid, but to trust in your goodness and grace.

Amen.

Shalom, Pr. Barb

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