Open to Newness

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Friday, March 13, 2015

John 3:1-21

The children’s message in worship often draws us in a new direction. All of us listen a little differently. Eyes and hearts wide open feel the invitation of the Gospel toward the gladness of participation. It’s as if we open up the windows of the sanctuary and let the warm breezes of spring remind us of God’s redeeming love for all creation. The simplicity moves us out of our preoccupations to once again receive what God so freely offers.

Something brought Nicodemus into the company of Jesus at night. And there was something in his role that naturally led him to ask questions. I know how my experiences over the years and my temperament can influence my perspectives and lead me to certain questioning.

I can relate to how Nicodemus’ expectations – his need to intellectually grasp things – got in the way of being open to the new thing God was doing. The conversation served as an invitation to Nicodemus to enter into relationship characterized by mercy and kindness. We can feel the uneasiness. It’s hard to be in a place where we are asked to simply receive. The story speaks to matters of faith and vulnerability.

So Jesus met Nicodemus in his searching and brought the very gift of light and the promise of love. It likely took some time for this to settle in for him. But the story points us to the Spirit that blows where it wills and makes it possible regardless of our reluctance and fear to be open and to receive what God so generously gives! This gift changes us and opens the way to the future.

Lent draws our meditations to the foot of the cross – the depth of God’s tenacious love for the world. We pause to receive the gift of God’s love today. It finds its way - ever so persistent so we can be brought into newness far beyond our efforts or anything we can imagine or deserve.

Pastor Randy