MANY ARE ASKING, “WHO CAN SHOW US ANY GOOD?” LET THE LIGHT OF YOUR FACE SHINE UPON US, O LORD. (Psalm 4: 6)
– Psalm 139: 1 – 12
– Ezekiel 37: 1 – 14
– John 3: 1 – 16
– John 19: 38 – 42
– Where can I go from your Spirit? – asks the psalmist (Psalm 139: 7).
– I will put my Spirit in you and you will live- says the Lord (Ezekiel 37:14).
– No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again – concludes Jesus as He teaches Nicodemus about Salvation. (John 3: 3).
Remembering Pentecost, let us MEDITATE on the work of the Holy Spirit through these readings.
The valley was full of dried human bones when, in a vision, God asked Ezekiel: “Son of man, can these bones live?”. “O Sovereign Lord, you alone know”, humbly answers the Prophet. Then, once Jesus said: “What is impossible with men is possible with God”, Ezekiel described the unimaginable process of rebirth by the power of God’s Spirit. (Luke 18: 27).
Nicodemus should have known this. He was a devout man who prayed daily and studied the Old Testament scriptures constantly, knowing a lot about God’s Law but being in the dark about what God was doing in Jesus Christ. It is highly possible that he chose to seek Jesus at night simply to avoid being seen by anyone else, as he was one of the leaders of the Pharisees. God’s miracles seem incomprehensible for the human mind. Nicodemus became even more confused at Jesus’ remark: “No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again”. “Jesus, what do you mean? Born again? That’s impossible.” Yes, Nicodemus was certain about that. But Jesus answered Nicodemus’ question by saying essentially, “I am not talking about entering the womb a second time; what I am saying is that no one can enter the kingdom of God, you are talking about, without being born of water and Spirit. And the Spirit, Nicodemus, blows where it blows, moves as it will, and does it all by Himself with any help from you. Just as you cannot control the wind, you do not control God’s activity in your life or in the world around you. By your actions, you cannot be born anew, or born from above, but you can open yourself to being caught up in the winds of God’s Spirit that blow through creation.”
Sometimes, like it was for Nicodemus, we come to Jesus and do not find the answers we think we will find, but find instead more questions. We discover that the Scripture does not necessarily say what we think it says, or what the world makes us believe it says. That can be very unsettling for sure, but it may indeed be part of the Spirit’s breath upon our hearts that allows us to become open to hearing God’s call and participating in His activity in our lives and in the world around us.
Later in John’s Gospel, we see Nicodemus again. This time he acts with a much deeper faith; he is caught up in the work of God’s Spirit more completely. This time we see him (John 19: 38 – 42) bravely joining Joseph of Arimathea at the foot of the Cross, preparing Jesus’ body for burial and, along with Joseph, placing the body in its grave. Now Nicodemus is no longer hiding in the dark, but risking his reputation, his well-being and even his life, to serve the One who had given to him and for us all God’s Eternal Love.
As Jesus was there for Nicodemus, Jesus is there for us. He invites us to come, to question, to let our certainties be undone where necessary, and to discover true life in God’s Love as we become caught up in the work of the Spirit, moving through space and time. We are Nicodemus, within all the circumstances we are in and face, but always with our Heavenly Father, through the power of the Spirit, in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Thanks be to God for that!
Let us PRAY for:
-guidance, support and comfort of God’s Holy Spirit in these hard times of the Pandemic, and praise His Holy Name always, bringing before Him our questions, concerns, anxieties and despairs,
-those who meet Christ, but whose faith is still weak and for those who are fearful of what trusting in Him might mean,
-courage to ask simply for the fruits of the Spirit : love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; to be filled with the Spirit and trust that fruit will come,
-God’s blessing on all those who work hard to contain this Covid-19 Coronavirus, those who are infected or mourn lost loved ones and all those who can be infected at any moment,
-people affected by natural or other disasters, by unemployment, famine, lack of medical help or neglect,
– oved ones, people in any kind of need, known or unknown to us, Christians, people of other faith or none,
-anyone, you feel, should be named to God,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Do not forget THE LORD’S PRAYER, whenever you feel that your prayer is not complete: OUR FATHER, WHO ART IN HEAVEN …
MAY GOD’S GREAT MERCY GIVE US NEW BIRTH INTO A LIVING HOPE THROUGH THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST. AMEN. (1 Peter 1: 3)
Sandor, your Minister.