Week 32 Sunday

Night Visitor

Today’s scripture selection: John 3-4

Key Verses: John 3:1-3

     Nicodemus, one of the renowned members of the Jewish high court – the Sanhedrin; and Jesus, the troublesome religious leader making them nervous; and the story of their meeting one night – it’s all very interesting.

     But what I have always found particularly interesting about their meeting was when it happened.  John seems to make a point of giving us that little detail:

     “He came to Jesus at night….”

     According to John, Nicodemus is quick to acknowledge that Jesus is “a teacher who has come from God.  For no could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

     Certainly not an endorsement of Jesus as the long awaited Messiah – but no small acknowledgement either.  Coming from such a renowned religious leader; a man of such political and spiritual power – no small acknowledgment indeed.  And yet:

     “He came to Jesus at night….”

Why?  What was he afraid of? Being

  • Identified with Jesus and his views on God’s kingdom?
  • Embarrassed by “stooping down” to talk to the itinerant preacher?
  • Challenged by Jesus in some way?
  • Convicted of his sins and shortcomings?

What caused Nicodemus to come under “cloak of darkness” to talk to the One whom some were calling the “light” of the world?

Maybe there were many reasons.

But it causes me to question why, and how, I come to Jesus.

Do I come only in darkness; in some clandestine way – or am I willing to come publicly; in daylight; joyfully – for all to see?

How do you come to Him?

Good questions…don’t you think?

Prayer: Lord, may I always be willing to come to you joyfully, openly, for all to see, that others might come too.  AMEN.




By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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