Trinity Sunday, Year B – About Nicodemus

Title:Trinity Sunday, Year B – About Nicodemus

 Trinity Sunday, Year B (full size gallery)

This not only Trinity Sunday but it was our first “maskless” Sunday since the pandemic with the pew holders full again with books and a sermon relating an apple to Trinity Sunday (See below). 28 were in the congregation with more online.

It was the concluding day for the ECW ingathering. It was Memorial Day Sunday and we used this prayer

A Prayer for Heroic Service
“O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines. This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord.” Amen. From the Book of Common Prayer, 839

The Jamaica Project has reached its halfway point – $1,300 in funds received plus 94 backpacks, 60 pens, 98 rulers, 350 pencils, 18 notebooks, 24 crayons and 50 masks. Wow!

From Rev. David Lose

“But what strikes me this week is that Nicodemus is one of the few side characters – that is, not one of the disciples – that appears at several points in John’s Gospel. Here, in his main appearance. Again near the end of chapter 7, when Nicodemus, if not exactly standing up for Jesus let alone proclaiming his faith in him, nevertheless reminds his colleagues that, according to the law, they should not judge Jesus before giving him a trial. And for offering that reminder he is rebuked (7:45-52). Then he makes a third appearance, this time after Jesus’ crucifixion, when Nicodemus accompanies Joseph of Arimathea to collect, anoint, and bury the body of Jesus, the one just executed by the Romans (19:38-42). Again, perhaps not quite the same as standing up in the assembly and declaring his faith, yet nevertheless another significant step forward, as by his actions Nicodemus declares this allegiance to one who had just been executed for a capitol offense.

“And that’s what I think makes Nicodemus such an interesting character. He is the only side character, as far as I can tell, who shows up at multiple points in John’s Gospel and grows in his faith. At first he brings questions and is confused. He later invites others to slow in their judgment. He finally risks publically honoring the one just executed. Faith, at least in Nicodemus’ case, takes time. Indeed, his journey with Jesus continues across most of the Gospel of John and, we might assume, beyond.

“And that might be good for our people to hear this week. For some, perhaps coming to faith was easy and fast and strong and they’ve rarely doubted. And all we can do is give thanks for that experience. But for others – maybe most others – faith comes more in fits and starts, two steps forward and another back. Or perhaps at times things seems clear and at others just plain confusing. Or maybe faith feels a lot more like an endless series of questions rather than easy and forthright affirmations. For those like that – and I count myself among that tribe – hearing Nicodemus’ story once again might be particularly meaningful.

“I’ve read somewhere – I can’t remember where – that Nicodemus is the patron saint of curiosity. I love that. I think I’d also claim him as the patron saint of all those of us with an uneasy or restless faith. Those who aren’t satisfied with easy answers, those who keep questioning, those who want to believe and also understand, but at least to believe even when we don’t understand!

“Even more though, I think this story says a lot not simply about Nicodemus about also about God. God is patient. God doesn’t give up. If God keeps working in and on and through Nicodemus across three years and sixteen chapters in John’s Gospel, God will keep working in and on and through us. No matter how long it takes. And if there’s a tie to Trinity Sunday, maybe that’s it – we don’t have to understand the Trinity (and, honestly, I have a hard time trusting those who say they do!) to be part of the church created, redeemed, and sustained by the Triune God.”