Scripture for Trinity Sunday:
Isaiah 6.1-8; Psalm 29; Romans 8.12-17; John 3.1-17
On the sixth Trinity Sunday in Menorca … what is there to say anew about the way in which the Trinitarian God, present in creation, present in human being, present in empowering and inspiring spirit, helps us to relate to God and to one another?
Instead, let’s turn to marriage, and the way in which a partner in love can draw out of us qualities and characteristics that would otherwise remain latent. In fact, it is not just in marriage that this can occur: think about, for example, the children to whom we are parents, or whom we teach. They, too can transform us.
Which brings us to Nicodemus and his encounter with Jesus. We know little about him – except that he arrives in the dark. And this is John’s gospel, which has as its theme the contrast between light and dark. Nicodemus comes ostensibly to bring respect to Jesus, but Jesus challenges him for much more: his soul. He wants him to be open to the ultimate relationship of love which will draw out of him more than he might have asked or imagined. Then come words that everyone thinks they know: John 3.16 (“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”)
Except that the Greek word which comes to us as “world” is in Greek a word that means “cosmos.” God loves the cosmos so much that it is worth sending Jesus, the Son, to reach out to Nicodemus. That is quite a proposition. Of course, it does not stop there. As it was for Nicodemus, so it is for all humans who arrive at the doorstep of Jesus in the dark, tentatively: all are invited into the light of Christ. God loved the whole cosmos so much that it was worth sending Jesus to minister to a population of curious but challenging human beings, in the hope that they will become carriers of light.
What happened to Nicodemus? The only other time when he appears is to minister to the dead body of Jesus, even though this must have placed him at risk. He really had moved from the darkness into the light.
Are we willing to be exposed to the light of Christ? It might show up aspects of us that we would rather keep in the shadows. On the other hand, it might draw us into a relationship of love with our creator that will reveal latent qualities that would otherwise not be seen – it might make us more than we could ever be alone: the ultimate relationship of transformation.