On a not so special night:
A regular old night like any other,
Nicodemus sought Jesus out for a conversation.
Nicodemus was full of curiosity.
He had questions.
And an ordinary night,
was transformed into an extraordinary one,
Because of Jesus.
Jesus transformed a regular night, with some regular questions
Into a remarkable, life-changing event.
And by the end of the Gospel of John,
Nicodemus is a new person.
If someone asked him what made him who he was at that time,
He may have found himself returning to that regular old night,
When the extraordinary God changed his life.
And that’s often how it is.
Extraordinary experiences come out of the ordinary ones.
The extraordinary God:
Comes to us as an ordinary human:
Yet extraordinarily God.
Dying a human death:
Yet rising to new life in the most extraordinary event of all time.
It’s the message of Christmas.
It’s the message of Easter,
And it’s the message of all life in between.
It’s the message of the Trinity: which we celebrate today.
And it’s worth asking yourself:
How it’s worked out in your own life?
What moments have made you into who you are today?
Some moments are probably spectacular.
Others earth-shattering, even heartbreaking, and more.
But when we really take the time to reflect on what made us who we are right now:
Today, In this moment:
We will likely come up with the names of people who have filled our lives.
Little things they did, or said to us:
Things that they might not even remember today:
But have stayed with us and changed us.
Little, ordinary things:
That became extraordinary, lifechanging transformations:
Shaping us into the people we are today.
For me, one of those little moments was on Trinity Sunday, 1999.
When I stood at Trinity Episcopal Church in Pierre, SD
And preached my first sermon.
I was eleven.
All because some ordinary adults in my congregation believed that an ordinary sixth grader could preach about the extraordinary love of God.
And that began to shape me into who I am today.
An ordinary moment, of lifechanging transformation.
This truth about the ordinary becoming extraordinary is a hint to us that God:
Our awesome, all knowing God:
Is right there with us:
Taking what might be the most ordinary of moments,
And breathing a little extra into it:
So that over time, it becomes something extraordinary.
And as Christians:
We are called to be witnesses to this reality:
Of the ordinary and mundane,
Transformed into something incredible, awesome, and extraordinary:
And seeing the world in a new way:
As we become aware of the movement of God transforming us.
In today’s Gospel story,
We see Jesus launch the transformation of Nicodemus
From a questioning leader:
To a witness to the movement of God.
And the movement of God is trinitarian:
IT’s three in one.
Physical, Spiritual, and Divine.
It takes our full selves to be part of this movement.
We can’t compartmentalize the movement of God to one hour or one day.
We can’t compartmentalize it into one part, one choice, one belief.
The movement of God is all of it.
In all of it’s fullness.
All of the ordinary:
Transformed into the extraordinary.
Just like all of those little ordinary moments,
Along side the big earth shattering ones,
That make us into who we are.
This is Trinity.
And this is difficult for us to grasp.
Because our entire world is about compartmentalization.
We count the minutes and hours of our days.
Dividing up time for work,
Time for family,
Time for celebrations,
And time for chores.
But the movement of God blurs and smudges the lines.
All the ways in which we divide and order it.
The Movement of God never stops.
The movement actually IS God’s full self:
Father, Son and Spirit:
Set loose in all of creation:
To breathe that extra into the ordinary.
During this late-night conversation in today’s Gospel story
Jesus invites Nicodemus to wake up,
Be “Born again”
And move beyond the lines and boundaries that the world tells him he should follow.
Jesus invites him to join the movement of God:
To be born again in flesh, water, and spirit:
In all the fullness.
Jesus is not interested in simply answering Nicodemus’ questions:
Or giving him a brief summary.
Jesus is inviting him to participate in an entirely new way of seeing and living:
A way of seeing and living that only happens with the participation of his full self:
Joining in the Movement of God:
In the life of the Trinity:
The very life of God.
And it’s hard to catch on.
It’s hard to be moved from all that we know:
This one body, this one life, our understanding of science and creation.
It takes Nicodemus some time to catch on.
He asks, “How can anyone be born after having grown old?”
And Jesus doesn’t back down.
He replies “You must be born from above.”
With these words,
Jesus calls us to move beyond our ordinary way of thinking:
Into an extraordinary:
Trinitarian way of BEING.
Jesus invites us to the place where our bodies, minds, souls and spirits meet.
Our selves, our souls, and bodies.
All of us. Each part of us: In all its fullness.
Jesus calls Nicodemus, and all of us:
To live into the realization of ALL that we are.
We are not just machines, a body moving by habit.
We are not just flesh.
God made us to be part of the Movement:
For our ordinary to be transformed into extraordinary,
Over and over again,
Becoming our full selves.
On this Trinity Sunday,
We are commissioning our healing prayer team members:
Who have committed to praying for other ordinary people:
Believing that the extraordinary power of God can transform bodies, minds and souls.
Believing that the essence of God:
Our source of life:
The father, son and holy spirit:
In the big and the small.
The ordinary and the extraordinary.
And all of it merges together,
Blurs the lines,
To make us who we are:
Transformed by God’s fullness.
On this Trinity Sunday,
May you be moved:
With your full self:
Your emotions, your mind, soul and strength:
Your selves, your, souls, and bodies:
To join the Movement of God.
And breathe in that extra that comes from the fullness of God with us:
That extra that transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary.
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
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