Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
In the third chapter of John’s Gospel Jesus affirms God’s supernatural character. He gives birth, even to old people like Nicodemus. But, in verse eight, he does it through means that we will not completely understand.
Do we see some irony here, at least a little bit, when Nicodemus affirms that he doesn’t understand? He want to understand. He’s trying to understand. He assumes that he will eventually be able to understand, because he’s a smart guy!
This is exactly the problem, and it’s a problem that most of us have. We want the kingdom of God to be something that we can grasp clearly with our senses, that we can wrap our mind around. We want to be able to describe everything, and not only describe it, but explain it. When we observe that the world is full of complexities which we can’t explain, such as gravity, which we seem only able to describe, our world will tell us that science is complex because it’s real, but religion is something different.
The fact is, the God who created all this complexity is himself able to be just as complex as he wants to. He gives some descriptions of himself in Scripture, and he allows us to make some sense out of his creation, which may help us understand him a little better, but he remains the one who is inexplicable.
This Trinity Sunday, then, when we confess that God is one in being and three in person, that he has one will and one desire but three persons who arevery different in appearance, yet he is really one, all at the same time, all eternal, all unchanging, we are confessing something we cannot possibly explain without lapsing into some sort of heresy. Like Nicodemus, we can’t fully wrap our heads around God. But he remains the one who is working in our world. He is still the one who rescues us from sin, death, and the grave, through means we really don’t think should be able to do that.
Like Nicodemus, then, we are called to believe on the Lord, not to explain the Lord. Believe on him. He is the redeemer of the world.
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