Glimpses of Grace for the 18th Day of Lent, 2017

Devotional Reading: John 7: 37-52. Morning Psalm -34; Evening Psalm 25

Text: Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus before, and who was one of them (the Pharisees), asked, “Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?” (John 7L 50 & 51)

Nicodemus reappears, without warning. There is something about Jesus that prohibits him from staying away. This time he comes to Jesus not under the veil of darkness but in the open in the light of day. He’s still not sure about all of this “born from above”-“born again” stuff, but still–he’s intrigued. He will appear one more time in the gospel of John.  I’ve often thought that Nicodemus–and Thomas, for that matter,–are a lot like us; questioning, wondering, and cautious.  A “passionate faith” makes us a bit nervous. So does a unpredictable God. We are quite comfortable–too comfortable–with a “scientific” world view that relegates God to the gaps. If we had our way, God would be predictable, tame. Jesus would be, too.

But here’s the thing about Jesus. He is not tame. He is not predictable. He speaks to the woman at the well, heals a man born blind, restores a crippled hand on the Sabbath, and on and on and on.

Nicodemus may have moved slowly toward Jesus, but he moved. We do not know where his journey will end but we can make a pretty good guess that it ended with discipleship. After all, having his name memorialized three times in this gospel is an indication that he was at least known, if not a full member of the early Johannine community.

Years ago  I read something that John Winthrop wrote in his journal. It went something like this; “When God places a bias in a person’s heart, they may be tossed this way and that but he will always settle in the bias.” God plants the seed of faith within us. God is a patient planter.

Lord, thank you for being patient with me and for using the circumstances of my life to show me your way.  Make me perceptive to your presence in my life. Amen.


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