Monday, April 28, 2014
Monday of the Second Week of Easter
“The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”(John 3:8)
Today’s Gospel from John stars Nicodemus, a Pharisee, in the first of his three appearances in John’s account of the Good News. A religious leader of his day, he went under cover of darkness, “at night,” to question Jesus. He saw that Jesus was a teacher from God because of the power of his signs (miracles), but it was hard for him to imagine that the life he was living as a Pharisee, as a religious leader who dictated God’s will to the people, might need some rethinking.
Typical of John’s complex and multi-layered writing, Jesus’ answer to Nicodemus’ questioning is a little hard to understand, “The wind blows where it wills ...” In simpler expressions throughout scripture, the basic message is, “God’s ways are not human ways ...” You don’t control the wind, and you don’t control God.
My 8th grade class recently analyzed a few passages from the Gospels where Jesus eats with outcasts, heals people who are socially shunned and forgives those with whom society would rather not deal. We talked about the fact that Jesus went about doing things in a way that is still unconventional by modern standards.
I have given my energy and effort to well-meaning state, local, organizational and church efforts. Sooner or later, the question of leveraging the right people – those with influence, power and money – always comes up. It is, after all, how “to get things done.” Even my 8th graders could see that this wasn’t how Jesus operated. But, then he got himself in a heap of human trouble. Then, he conquered death and showed the way to eternal life. I think I prefer his way of doing things. I think Nicodemus did, too. He was there at the cross, helping Joseph of Arimathea prepare Jesus for burial. What a joy the resurrection must have been for him!
God of surprises,
why is it so hard for us to surprise ourselves
by truly following the example of Jesus?
Help us to imagine and make happen a world
where every human treasure that You have bestowed
is cherished, valued and welcome. Amen.
Marketing and Public Relations Associate, Avera
ACTS 4:23-31 • PSALM 2:1-3, 4-7A, 7B-9 •JOHN 3:1-8