Today’s Scripture Readings
Happy Easter. Jesus is risen. He is truly risen!
So as you know, it is the Easter season. We are celebrating this amazing event that no one really understands. Jesus died and yet we believe he rose from the dead and lives with us still today. We may have become so used to the idea in our religious selves that we have forgotten how absolutely outrageous that claim can sound. Someone died and yet is alive in a real way 2,000 years later.
Perhaps we are like Nicodemus trying to understand what Jesus is trying to do with us. I think for me that is why I have always been drawn to the part of this reading that talks about the wind and how we don’t know where it comes from or where it goes. I think that is also true of how our lives work. Don’t we at times think, how did I get here? In the same way don’t we often wonder, what’s next? These common experiences expose a real vulnerability and hopefully humility that is part of human life. Too often we try to cover that vulnerability with behavior meant to hide it, or deny it or worse avoid it.
We need to accept our inability to control or comprehend every facet of our life so we can accept the loving care of God and follow where God leads. Wherever that might be. So Jesus is telling Nicodemus, and us, to look to God. To look up like the Israelites did in the desert. Looking up at the serpent in order to be healed. Facing, in other words, those things that frighten us. We can only overcome what we are willing to look at and tackle head on. In our case, it is Jesus on the cross who is lifted up. So we can see that giving ourselves totally to the challenges in our lives is the way to go. Giving ourselves totally to the people in our lives is the answer. That inherently means that we are not alone. Like the ideal description in the Acts of the Apostles we too can contribute to the good of the whole community but then also receive what we need from others. Which, of course, brings us back to where we started. In order to receive the gifts, the care and love from others we have to admit we need it. We have to admit that like Nicodemus we aren’t entirely sure of everything. We aren’t in total control of what happens in our lives. We need the help of others, we need the help of God to find our way, and only then will we be born again.