Devotional Reading (evening): John 19:38-42. Psalm 105.
Text: Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. (John 19: 39)
The evening devotional reading is a story about a “secret” disciple, Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus, the one who came to Jesus at night. Together they came to claim the body of Jesus for burial. What struck me most was not the “secret” disciple–there are many secret disciples in totalitarian countries around the world. Rather, I was struck by Nicodemus, or more accurately, his extravagant generosity. He acted like the woman who bathed Jesus feet with fragrant oil valued at more than a year’s salary and Zacchaeus who not only made restitution but gave away half of his wealth to those in need.
Jesus once said that you can tell about a person’s faith by the fruit that it produces. I think that one of the fruits of the spirit is Generosity. I believe that once a person has been touched by Jesus, truly touched by Jesus, they become extravagantly generous. They become extravagantly generous because they realize that Life is not about them, but about God. They understand that their call to be stewards of everything God entrusted to their care. They realized that they are responsible to God for the assets of God’s Kingdom–the whole of creation including its creatures and especially God’s children.
A part of the Good News is that we are freed to be who God knows we truly are. We are free to be God glorifying stewards.
Lord, open my eyes, heart and mind to see the true abundance of your merciful grace rather than the fearful scarcity that the world wants me to see. Let me have a Nicodemus. Amen.