Occasionally, we will reprint prior devotions that now reflect on the coming lectionary texts. This is a reprint from a devotion originally published on May 25, 2015.
Prayer: Dear God, hear our prayers in the night. Amen
Reading: John 3: 1-17 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: Why did Nicodemus come to Jesus at night? Was it because as a Pharisee and member of the Jewish ruling council he did not want to be seen visiting Jesus? Perhaps his Pharisee friends would have given him a hard time for talking with Jesus. Yet, Nicodemus started out by telling Jesus, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him." (John 3: 2). Who is we? Sounds like Nicodemus wasn't the only one who acknowledged Jesus.
Still, Nicodemus was the only one who actually went to talk to Jesus and, regardless of the hour, Jesus gave him the time, attention and answers he needed. Did Nicodemus go back and share what Jesus explained to him in that late night visit? We don't really know but, if the pretty much universal knowledge of John 3:16 is any indication, I guess that late night visit by one person certainly had an impact on countless people.
Let's remember that. In a way, in our community of faith, we say "We know..." as we recite the creeds together, but Jesus is always there and ready for us for the one on one conversations no matter the hour. May those times feed our own souls and then strengthen us all. --Ruth Gates
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