There is a lot of rich and beautiful imagery, word play and of course, theology in this week's passages. (Holy Trinity for Year B).
This is a broad look at the story of Nicodemus. I find an interesting connection with the Holy Trinity Isaiah text in this way -- In Isaiah, there is a death. The story of Israel's people seems coming to a grinding halt, if not end. But God is King and so the story moves on. In the same way, Nicodemus' story seems at an end; but God is King; the Spirit is ALIVE and so the story moves on.
breaks down John 3:16
We've heard John 3:16 a million times before. For this week, I broke it down, word by word. Awful for a sermon, yes, but a closer look reveals how this really is the Gospel in a nutshell. Fun Greek fact: The phrase eternal life is literally "eons of a zoo." God's eternal party is a zoo! Helpful Greek fact: This eternal zoo is not a future reality, but a present one, available here and now.
is a very thorough review of Romans 8:12-25. Summary:
Paul describes in some beautiful and novel ways our relationship to God through
the work of the Holy Spirit. First, Paul uses the word adoption (υιοθεσια); he,
alone among NT writers, uses this concept to talk about our relationship to
God. Second, Paul uses a string of "συν" verbs to talk about our togetherness
with God: We have inheritance, suffering and glorification WITH Christ.
Lastly, Paul says we have the first-fruit of the Spirit. EVERY time before
this, first-fruits went to God to appease him. Now, God is offering us the
first-fruit (απαρχη) of the Spirit. I am still pondering the interpretation of
verse 23, but it is clear that Paul is pushing the dimensions of the
God-humanity relationship in new (and strange) directions, made possible by the
work of the Holy Spirit through Christ.
Also, here is the link to my previous work on Isaiah: