Stanger at Night

2nd Sunday in Lent
Scripture: Romans 4:1-5, St John 3:1-17
I really like this story about Nicodemus. I can see myself in many aspects of the story. While I have known about my Lord and loved Him greatly, all my actions are not all that He desires. At times His love radiates from my daily life. I was somewhat like Nicodemus as I came to Him in the darkest moments of my life. Yet one can not really love the Lord with ones whole being if we only seek His presence when we seek something from Him that is a desire for us.

We all know John 3:16 by heart, yet if we don’t show that love all the time and openly, are we sure that we totally believe in Him? There is a lot more of Nicodemus in each one of us than what we are willing to admit or open up too. Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a member of the Jewish Council. But he still felt like something was missing in his life. Not wanting to admit this to the rest of the council, he gives to Jesus under the cover of darkness. He addresses Jesus, saying “Rabbi, I knew that you are a teacher sent from God for no one could perform the signs and things you are doing if God were not with Him.”

Jesus replies, “I tell you, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

Nicodemus asks, “how is this possible, for he cannot enter again into his mother’s womb.”

Jesus replies to Nicodemus a 2nd time, “No one can enter the Kingdom of God unless they are born again by the water and the Spirit of God.

Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the water and the spirit gives birth to the Holy Spirit in new life. The Holy Spirit is like the wind. No one can see the wind, but we can feel it and see what it can do, whether it’s a gentle breeze or a frightening storm destroying everything in its path. The Holy Spirit is more like the gentle breeze. One can sense its presence, a silent, guiding presence that offers comfort and direction in one's life.

This congregation has seen and felt the Holy Spirit working in many of our lives. When Derek Mitchell was told that there was a mass in his small body that had to come out and it was cancer, there appeared a cloud of darkness all over our church family. We could not understand why God would do such a thing to a small child. Surgery was planned. His whole family was gathered at the hospital. Judy and I were among that gathering. When they came to take him to surgery, the nurse told him he could walk beside him, ride in a wheel chair or drive a battery powered Jeep. He jumped ahead of her, got in the Jeep, and raised his little hand waving bye to all of us. As he disappeared down the hallway, tears were flowing in abundance from all of us.

Minutes passed like hours, and hours like days. The doctor finally returned. He didn’t know what had happened. The tumor was there, they saw it on the x-ray, but once in surgery it was gone! There was no sign of cancer anywhere. Today he is a tall teen, enjoying life, family and fellowship of other Christians. We knew what had happened and we knew why! The Lord of all life took care of that situation.

When we are up against a brick wall, with no sight ahead but more bricks, God is here. He doesn’t leave us hopeless. We need to remove the bricks so we have the desire and ability to love and serve Him more in all aspect of our being. I don’t know the brick wall or road blocks in your lives, but I do know who can and will remove them.

Let us pray.