Summary: Living a whole life in Christ.
Wholly Alive - Nicodemus
April 29, 2007
It was 9:23 a.m. on Monday morning and I was back to the routine.
I was getting ready to begin another sermon.
A 4 day task of
Brainstorming and finally writing.
In the midst of my work I needed to call home. I missed Deb, Luke, Benjamin and Emma.
Over the weekend we had:
Dug a new garden
Pruned our apple trees
Gone on bike rides
Talked with neighbors
Listened to our I-pods.
Gone to Vancouver, road the Sky Train.
But now I was back at work.
Earlier that morning before I left for church, we had been on:
A pirate boat,
And a train
Earlier that morning Emma went potty in her potty.
But now I was at work
Back to my routine.
Back to being Pastor Tim and not Dad.
I was back on duty.
I dialed the number and Ben answered, "Hi"
This is Daddy
"Hi Daddy. Here’s Luke" Luke got on the phone, "Daddy, we’re making a fortress."
"A fortress," I replied.
"Yes, we’ve got pillow, cushions and blankets and we are making a fortress."
All their excitement and all their creativity and all their life caused me to want to shut down my work at my desk, on this sermon, breakaway from what I was doing and go home and play.
The next day, Tuesday, when I called to check in Luke answered,
"We’re having a treasure hunt, bye, here’s Mom."
When Deb got on the phone we didn’t have a conversation for all she was saying was
"Hot, Hot, get colder, colder."
I hung up and went back to my work, feeling like I was missing out. Feeling like I got the short end of the deal.
Feeling like my kids were living life and me just going through it or just getting through it. Remember being a kid?
Remember the dreams you had?
The ambitions you had before life began to mold you.
Chip away at you.
Beat you down.
There in the safety of your home.
Among your stuffed animals and toys.
Immersed in books and TV, you began to construct a dream about your life. You didn’t do this because you had to have a plan for your life as an 8-year-old. You didn’t because as humans, we are created to dream
Grow into who we’ve been created to be with no limits placed on us as kids, we dream big dreams. But now 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 years later, such ambitions are not natural. If I told you that I wanted to be a football player, you’d laugh.
If you told me you wanted to be a ballerina, I too might laugh. And yet down deep (come on) deep inside of us we yearn to become fully alive. To live fully and authentically. Our culture encourage us to think this way.
Companies provide products meant to help us enhance and better our lives. If you buy product A then you’ll breakaway from your normal life.
Pretty much everything sold at every kind of store has as its purpose meeting
Our longing to be alive.
And yet if we don’t understand God’s way to a whole life, we can buy all these products, all this well researched stuff and not have a whole life.
For the next 4 weeks, we are going to just touch the surface, just begin to explore the lives of people who were seeking to live a breakaway, a whole life.
2000 years ago as it is now, people got caught up in things that they truly thought would give them the life they always wanted. 2000 years ago a few of them met up with Jesus and he had some words for them, words that can help us.
The first text is John 3, page 1649:
There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him."
John tells us in verse 2 that he was a Pharisee and a member of the Jewish Ruling Council. Some of what this means is this.
He was a man of power.
A man in a select group of people.
As a member of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council, he was one of 70 men who ran the religious affairs of the nation. He had religious authority over any Jew anywhere in the world.
Because he was a Pharisee, he was a public figure. A man of standing and authority. Respected. Having a big stake in the established order. A man who would seem to have everything going for him. Others no doubt would believe him to be happy, fulfilled, having a whole life and yet verse 2 tells us: