Jesus has been upsetting the insiders. One of them, Nicodemus, comes by night. I am told by Bible commentators that "night" implies more "not understanding" than a time. I had always taken "night" as literal and read that Nicodemus was hoping not to be seen by anyone important when he approached this trouble maker. After thinking about it for a moment, I've decided to keep both meanings.
Nicodemus asserts that the miracles they have seen Jesus perform have been persuasive. Yet apparently not completely so. It's night after all.
After being asked about how anybody can have a second birth, Jesus answers him by asserting the necessity of the Spirit.
"What is born of the Spirit is spirit....The wind blows where it chooses..." Remember that the Greek word translated as wind also means breath or spirit. God breathes on us; a force moves us like the wind moves us and that force is as invisible as the wind as it is as potent as the wind.
"So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." Who is this "everyone"? Who has been born of the Spirit? Am I reassured? insulted? puzzled? grateful?
God of miracles, you are continually working wonders! We are amazed by your extravagant love and kindness. You invite us be mindful of everything that you have provided. Free us from worrying about what we do not have. Open our eyes to recognize your children who are in need. May these gifts bountifully bless those in our community, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen. (John 6:1-21)
July Offertory Prayers were written by the Rev.Rosanna Anderson, Associate Director of Stewardship at Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Church.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Even Scholars Don't Always Get It Right Away, a Reflection on John 3:1-9
Repeat from earlier year: