Thursday, March 20, 2014

Something has to die, something else has to be born.



Note: each week, I send the congregation sermon summaries of the last week and a preview of what's coming up.  My tech was off this week so there's no audio.  In Lent, my focus is: Something has to die; something has to be born.

Something has to die; something has to be born.

When Nicodemus came to Jesus, it took a lot of courage.  He didn’t understand Jesus, he just knew there was something important about him.  Jesus’ insisted that the Spirit can empower people to be born again.  Nicodemus never really understood it and neither do we.  But that is the point.  When we are born again, we are like infants.  We’re out of control, we’re dependent, and we don’t understand most of what’s going on.

What needs to die in order for you to be born again? What’s the shield that keeps you from admitting all that you don’t know?  Nicodemus teaches that when you let go of your need to be the expert, you become open to the Holy Spirit’s life-changing work.

This week, we will hear a conversation between Jesus and a Samaritan woman who has had 5 husbands. She’s not your typical conversation partner for a Jewish man, much less someone holy.  But she's so affected by Jesus she turns into one of his followers and tells everyone about him.  When the old disciples find Jesus talking with this new, unlikely disciple, they are speechless.  This is not the kind of person Jesus should be talking to!

It’s easy to think of unlikely disciples as others. But what makes you unlikely?  How can knowing yourself as unlikely help you welcome other, equally unlikely people into this community of the unlikely disciples?

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