The Morning Service at Seale on 12th March featured the story of Nicodemus meeting Jesus. This is a shortened version of the sermon with some added links.
Twitter is a mobile phone or computing messaging system that requires users to get over their message in 140 characters or less. In world with an abundance of information, it requires a degree of art to consolidate your message in 140 characters.
If Jesus and Nicodemus were using Twitter (yes I know a big leap of imagination at lots of levels). What might they have written…
@Jesus “Met @Nicodemus today and said that he needs to be Born Again in order to enter the kingdom of God, he did not understand. #EternalLife”
The website BibleSummary.info has every chapter in the bible summarised in 140 characters each. The John 3 chapter entry says for whole of John chapter 3.
Jesus told Nicodemus, “Be born again. Whoever believes in the Son will have eternal life.” John the Baptist said, “He is above all.”
Reverting just to section of the reading – I wondered what Nicodemus would saying if he was doing twitter
@Nicodemus “Met @Rabbi today. He said we need to be born again but we can’t be born twice. How can that that be? #confused #puzzled
Of course, the last thing Nicodemus would be doing is tweeting. He has come to Jesus in secret – at night. The last thing he wants is for anyone to know that’s he been meeting Jesus.
Last week the reading from Matthew used one word to signal the of a new story – the word last week was “Then”. Today’s reading has a similar word usage, using the word ‘Now’ .. “Now there was a man of Pharisees” – that one word is enough to signal to us that it’s a new scene, new location a new story.
Nicodemus starts the dialogue very respectfully – even flattering he calls Jesus Rabbi – teacher – “who has come from God”. Jesus declines to continue the polite exchange and jumps straight to the heart of the matter. Nicodemus is seeking advice on the way to life.
Jesus tells Nicodemus that he needs to be remade by the power of God – born again. The word used for again can mean again or it can mean “from above” – so “born again” or “born from above”.
Nicodemus as a Pharisee though he had it all sorted through strict observance of religious ceremonies and practices, adherence to oral laws and traditions as well as the written law of Moses.
Jesus saw that Nicodemus need to be unsettled or stirred in hope and expectation that he would be transformed. Maybe we ned to be unsettled or stirred up in our faith – maybe think we have it all sorted out.
Maybe as a church we need to be unsettled and stirred up. You may have heard about “Transforming Church, Transforming Lives” The Diocese of Guildford’s vision and mission strategy –launched this year. if you haven’t there is a very good video on the Diocesan website. Which is all about transforming church, in lots of different ways and there are 12 goals covering many aspects of church life.
Lent is a time set aside for reflection – let’s think this week how we can be transformed as individuals and as church community.
For Twitter length summary – how about
@ourSPW “Born again = Transformation. For me? For Church? Bring it on Holy Spirit”