Brothers & Sisters:
In the Gospel reading for today (John 3:1-17) Nicodemus has come to speak to Jesus. He has been listening to His teaching, but he does not understand it. So, Nicodemus comes privately to Jesus. Through conversation, Jesus takes Nicodemus deeper into Scripture. Jesus asks Nicodemus to recall the bronze serpent in the wilderness, to meditate on the working of the Spirit, to consider the power of new birth. In this conversation, Nicodemus, the teacher, becomes a student. He sets aside his privileged position for a moment and humbly sits at Jesus’ feet.
Because we gather for worship in a world that has fallen so far from God, we can sometimes see ourselves in a privileged position. We know the teachings of the faith. We have been members of the Church for years. But, as Jesus reminds us, you never stop learning. There are depths to the Word and the working of God you have not yet discovered. So, we gather during Lent, to be drawn again, deeply, into the wisdom of God’s Word. We set aside our privileged position and humbly experience the wonder of His work. through the waters of baptism, God brings you to life. He claims you as a child of His Kingdom. He promises to work for you, forgiving your sins, but He also promises to work through you, forming you into a witness to the world.
Jesus tells Nicodemus He did not come, “to condemn the world,” but that, “the world might be saved through Him.” What is beautiful to behold in John’s gospel is the way this relationship with Jesus moves Nicodemus from a private conversation at night to a public witness of his faith in the world.