We are introduced to Nicodemus in our Gospel reading from John. This Gospel has great creative genius within its verses. This scene with Jesus and Nicodemus is a precursor of what is to come. So much of these early passages in John is setting the stage for later events. Nicodemus returns to Jesus a number of times in the story that follows.
We hear just before Nicodemus comes by night that Jesus "knew what was in everyone." Then Nicodemus appears, this leader of the Jews, this member of the group that so opposes Jesus' ministry (the Pharisees), and he starts a dialogue with Jesus. A conversation that will be continued throughout the Gospel of John, concluding with one of Nicodemus' fellow Pharisees coming and burying Jesus in his own tomb. Jesus knew Nicodemus, what he was able to become and who he could influence.
There are moments in all of our lives when we just know something is right, that we are on the right track. And we keep plugging away at this "thing," not really understanding why, just knowing it is right. Much like Nicodemus snuck in to speak with Jesus, at first, and then he continues to explore what this kernel of questioning is that is blooming inside of him. By having the reading we have today, we are called to think on, explore, discern, pay attention to those nudges we experience in life, directing us to do something we never thought we could or should explore.
Where is God leading us? What new avenues can we walk down that will completely change our lives? They may not be "safe" and "familiar." Certainly, Nicodemus' life was radically changed, and in so doing, he also changed and modeled for the world a different way of being and acting in the world. Where is (are) our Nicodemus moment(s)? Are we paying attention so that we can experience those?
Copyright 2012, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Calling on the Holy Spirit to Descend, 2007.