The One Who Visited Jesus by Night - Deanery Evensong, 4th Sunday in Lent 2009
Gospel Reading: John 3 v 13-20.
Tonight’s New Testament Reading (John 3 13-20) Is part of Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus. Nicodemus we are told in John’s account of the burial of Jesus (John 19 v 36) brought spices for the anointing and is described as the ‘one who came to Jesus by night.’
His night talk with Jesus is a profound description of our life in Christ. We are born again in order to see God’s kingdom unfolding; we live in the Spirit which does not know where it is going. We have eternal life though faith in the only begotten son of God, who is sent to us because God loves the world.
God does not condemn the world, but there is judgment and there is condemnation.
Then Jesus tells Nicodemus in their night time talk that the Verdict is men preferred to love darkness rather than light.’ Then he tells Nicodemus (the one who came in the cover of darkness) ‘whoever lives by the truth comes into the light so that it is plainly seen that what he has done has been done through God.’
Nicodemus has heard the Gospel and now his struggle begins. Dare he live in the light? Will his life of life in Jesus be private and secret?
I suggest to you brothers and sisters that in our own way we are in the same place as Nicodemus. We have come to Jesus and we have come into a relationship with him and now wrestle in the shadows of the light and dark and that some of who we are is hidden – perhaps even hidden from ourselves.
In the end Nicodemus comes into the light (in mid afternoon) at the time of greatest danger and vulnerability he comes and helps prepare Jesus’ body for burial.
There are many things to ponder here but one is that to care for Jesus’ body is to come into the light. To belong to his body the church, to receive the Holy Communion, to see him lifted up in the Eucharist is a place of light.
As we draw near to Passiontide and Easter let us renounce and repent the deeds that we hid for shame and come to Him and plead with Him that in his light we will see light.