top of page

Revd Sara's Reflections - w/c 26th May 2024

Revd Sara’s Reflection Trinity Sunday 26th May 2024

Opening Prayer  Living, loving God, you call me into relationship, with you and with the people around me. Today, I come to meet with you, held together by your Spirit, Come Lord Jesus, come triune God.

From Psalm 29: Ascribe to the LORD you heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendour of his holiness. Glorious God, I come to worship you today as an earthly being who, nevertheless, wants to give you honour and praise to the best of my ability. Your greatness lifts me beyond my ordinariness and in the radiance of your splendour, I am able to shine. Mighty and majestic God, enthroned over all people and places, I humbly receive the strength you offer and the blessing of your peace today. I am nothing without the assurance of these and I am truly grateful. Today, help me to give you all the glory Amen

Reading: John 3:1-17 

On this Trinity Sunday, the lectionary readings take us to Nicodemus – who came by night seeking enlightenment, he appears in John’s Gospel three significant times. He has a trinity of appearances: here in chapter 3, then in chapter 7, and then in chapter 19. Firstly, Nicodemus is the Discoverer He is alone, remember, and comes by night: it is dangerous for him to meet Jesus and try to discover more about him. He respects this fellow Rabbi and sees the workings of God in him. So he searches him out and seeks to know more. Nicodemus the discoverer - wide eyed at the one who earlier in the Gospel changes water into wine, who causes havoc in the Temple. These miraculous and astonishing actions are signs of the Kingdom of God, right? But Jesus says. Nicodemus – very truly I tell you – no-one can see the Kingdom of God without being born from above. The signs alone are not enough. There are many sermons to be preached on that phrase, ‘born again’ or ‘born from above’ but the point is, Nicodemus the discoverer – the searcher, the seeker - finds he has so much more to learn than he ever realised, if he is in any way going to grasp what God’s Kingdom is all about.

Recognising that, we can all stand side by side with Nicodemus.  We all need to keep searching and seeking – to be on a never ending journey of discovery with God.

Secondly, Nicodemus is the Defender, a courageous defender. By the time we reach John 7.50. this Jesus has really been causing problems – theological and practical ones. So, in a meeting which John’s Gospel records took place with the temple police, the chief priests and his fellow Pharisees, Nicodemus is shown as a lone voice of defence. In Chapter 7.51 we read, ‘Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?’ He didn’t make himself popular being the lone voice of defence mind you. He was ridiculed in fact. Are you from Galilee too?

The second person of the Nicodeman Trinity – the courageous defender – speaks to us powerfully, I think. When might God call you or me to be the lone and unpopular voice in our defence of Jesus?

Thirdly, meet Nicodemus the Disciple, Jesus who had so challenged his faith development and urged his spiritual transformation has now died and Nicodemus – along with Joseph of Arimathea whom John calls ‘secret disciple’ – are paired together in chapter 19. There is something of great magnitude here. The Gospel writer chooses to draw our attention to a small but significant detail. When disciple Nicodemus (Chapter 19.39) came to pay his respects, to do what was necessary before burial, he carried with him an enormous quantity of myrrh and aloes – the traditional substances of anointing – about one hundred pounds. In John chapter 12.2 when Mary anointed Jesus with costly perfume – the Gospel speaks of one pound of nard and Judas complained that was a waste of money.

One hundred pounds: what does John’s Gospel want us to grasp because of that detail? Rudolf Bultmann’s commentary suggests that when Nicodemus the disciple brings this huge and costly devotion in spices, it speaks of a truth of immense quantity that has dawned upon him. Yet it is at precisely this moment that the world waits to be 'born from above' through Resurrection and Pentecost. As Nicodemus the disciple attends his Lord’s burial with his costly devotion, he reflects, surely, on the many ways the person of Jesus has affected his person. And Nicodemus’s new birth – the one he was so confused about initially - is just around the corner. It's the whole world which is going to be born again - not just him.

Questions for reflection: 1. What does your ‘journey of discovery’ in life and faith look like at the moment? What are you searching and seeking for? 2. Have you ever judged a person or situation without giving them or the circumstances a fair hearing? What is it important for you to defend? 3. How do you react to the idea that God intended the whole world to be ‘born again’ or ‘born anew’ through Jesus, not just individuals?

love and prayers Revd Sara

1 view0 comments


bottom of page