the second sunday in lent
the PRAYER …
O God, our leader and guide, in the waters of baptism you bring us to new birth to live as your children. Strengthen our faith in your promises, that by your Spirit we may lift up your life to all the world through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
the READING …
Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night ….
the DEVOTION …
We take it all so literally. Word for word. Letter by letter. We’re told that Nicodemus came to Jesus at night and we wonder … was it at ten o’clock? At midnight? At two? Four? Night, for us,more often than not, is, simply, a time of day. So, we picture a man tiptoeing through the darkness, skulking among the shadows. Whispering so no one can hear.
But scripture’s more poetic than that. Figures of speech. Metaphors. Allusions. I imagine Nicodemus isn’t all that different from any of us. Uninformed. Uncertain. In fact, that just might be the “night” by which he came to Jesus. “Teacher,” says the teacher of Israel, “teach me! Teacher, I can’t see! Teacher, I don’t understand!” Spit on the ground! Make mud with the saliva! Spread it on my eyes! Tell me to wash in the pool! Turn my darkness into light! My blindness into sight! My not-knowing into knowing!
Nicodemus came to Jesus by “night” – figuratively speaking – but ended up going away from Jesus by in broad daylight ….
Bob Barndt, pastor