Monday, March 21, 2011

Pondering Nicodemus and Everyday Incarnateness

Yesterday, our Pastor reminded us that we see Nicodemus again in the Gospel of John. I'm not sure I ever realized this, or perhaps, like most things, I knew it briefly and promptly forgot.

But we do see Nicodemus again, after the death of Jesus, where he shows up with a hundred pounds of burial spices, likely myrrh and aloe. A hundred pounds! Months of regular wages worth of burial spices. He arrives in the open, in the daylight, prepared to minister to the corpse of Jesus--so unlike his first meeting with Jesus.

Apparently, he's seen enough of Jesus in action to convince him, even if he still might not understand the concept of being born again. Our pastor, who has done some research into Celtic Christianity, reminded us of the Celtic idea of spirituality, that ancient Celts believed not only in the past incarnate Jesus, but in the incarnate sacredness of everyday life: that every task existed to point us to the Creator.

In other words, in present day terms, Jesus isn't just hanging out in church, waving good-bye to us as we leave, waiting for us to return next Sunday. No, God wants to be with us in our everyday lives, no matter how mundane.

To put this idea into concrete terms: God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit wants to be with us when we clean the toilets, not just when we get dressed up to go to church or to go out to dinner or to go on vacation.

For some of us (many of us), this thought must be terrifying, this idea that God isn't safely contained. For some of us, the idea that God is loose in the world, waiting for us, is a supreme comfort--and easy to believe, in this time of springtime, when God winks at us in the new growth and green we see every day.

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