John 3:1-21 Jesus and Nicodemus, being born anew, God’s love for the world.
Psalm 139:13-18 You formed me in my inward parts
This John passage is perhaps best known for creating ‘born-again Christians,’ and showing up at sporting events and other mega events on banners and signs. We’ve spent a lot of time on this passage over the years. We have often cut them apart, or dealt with them separately, but perhaps we do them an injustice when we do.
Nicodemus sneaks out under the cover of dark to see Jesus. Just for the record, that’s not why most of us sneak out. We sneak out for something forbidden, for something thrilling, for something important. So Nicodemus shows up, after dark, at the place where Jesus is staying and they talk theology. Who do you let in after dark when they pound on your door?
When we pair the passage from John with the passage from the Psalms, we hear something that we would hear more often than we do. We hear about the intimacy of our relationship with God. We hear the repeated language of love. We hear about the God who knits us together, who crafts us. We witness a God who opens the door after dark to engage with us about salvation and love.
Take a step back, and imagine this narrative not used a litmus test for faithfulness, but as a statement about who God is and how God loves us. That’s who we worship and serve.