Sunday, February 17, 2008

That Evening

That evening, after it was dark, one of the chief men of the city came secretly to speak with him.
His name was Nicodemus, and after he had been welcomed, the two of them sat on a bench in the courtyard, with the stars glinting down at them, and a pleasant evening breeze carrying the smell of night-blooming flowers past. They do not speak rapidly, and although thoughtful, are casual with each other:

Nicodemus: Teacher, we know you are from God, because the signs you show us are the work of God, and no one could do them who is not with God.

Jesus: Yet none - no one can see the Kingdom of God unless they are born again.

Nicodemus: How can I be 'born again' - an old man like me? I certainly can't go climbing back into my mother's womb!

Jesus: No one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of the water and the spirit - what is born of flesh is flesh, and what is born of spirit is spirit - this should not astonish you.

The spirit works differently from the way of the flesh - it is more like the wind, -we cannot tell where it comes from, or where it goes, but when it is blowing, we sure know it is there!

Nicodemus: I don't get it.

Jesus: Search your heart, and you will know what I say is true. Do you not teach as much in the temple?

I am telling you what we both know and have seen, ...and yet it is difficult for to recieve. If you cannot hear these things that we share, how will you accept what I have to tell you about heaven?

But I will tell you anyway - and I know this, because the Son has seen Heaven:

The Son of Man must be lifted up - just as Moses lifted up the brass serpent in the wilderness, so that those who believe in him - whomever they are - may have eternal life.

This must happen because God loves the world, loves the world so much that he will give his only Son, so that everyone who belives in him will not die, but instead may have eternal life.

Mind you, God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that it might be saved.

And the nightengale sang, and the two talked late into the night as the perfume of the night blooming flowers drifted around them and the stars twinkled.

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