Light and darkness

This is one of a series of short reflections that can be used by individuals or small groups. It may be worth considering keeping a journal to make notes as you use each reflection.

This session explores the passage in John’s Gospel where Nicodemus comes to Jesus with questions. Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be “born again”.

“No one in this world gets to see God’s world unless he’s reconceived, redeveloped, redelivered and then reborn” John 3:3 (Word on the Street

Settling in.
Spend a few moments to prepare to be open to receive from God during this reflection.
You may consider putting your phone on silent for a while. Light a candle. Get comfortable.

Gathering worship
Listen to this song:

Read: John 3:1-8

Use this Prayer of Nicodemus

God of second chances, who is patient with our confusion and who leads us into greater understanding if only we have ears to hear and souls willing to search;  
Grant that we may be born anew each day into hope,
born anew each day into joy,
born anew into your realm.
May your grace become the context of our days. Amen.

Darkness Reflection (1)

Nicodemus came to Jesus at night. In John’s Gospel (and other places in scripture) darkness can be a place where God is at work and significant things can happen. Before we think of Nicodemus, in pairs consider how ‘darkness’ can affect us.

What does the word ‘dark’ make you think of?

Are you afraid of the dark?

What emotions do you attach to the word ‘dark’?

What does the word ‘darkness’ make you feel?

Darkness Reflection (2)

Read again John 3:1-2

Notice the sort of person that Nicodemus was.

Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night. Why do you think that was?

What is it about coming to Jesus at night – that would have been different if Nicodemus came to Jesus during the day

If you were Nicodemus, and came to Jesus under cover of darkness – what would you ask him?

Reflection – being born again

Nicodemus corners Jesus late one night: “Coach, it’s obvious from the miracles that God’s backing you up, that he’s sent you to teach us stuff about God’s world.”

Jesus comes straight back “No one in this world gets to see God’s world unless he’s reconceived, redeveloped, redelivered and then reborn”

“Whoa! Hang on! You mean, go back into his mother’s womb?” Nicodemus asks.

Jesus comes back, “Truth is, you can’t enjoy God’s world unless you celebrate two birthdays, one physical, the other spiritual. Physical people create physical babies. God’s Holy Spirit brings spiritual people to life.

Close your mouth! Is this ‘reborn’ info really so shocking?”

John 3:1-7 (Word on the Street)

1. What does being ‘born again’ mean to you?

2. Why do some Christians find this uncomfortable or shocking?

3. How is being born again real in your Christian life?

Closing Worship. Listen to this song:

GOD FORGAVE MY SIN in Jesus’ name,

I’ve been born again in Jesus’ name;

And in Jesus’ name I come to you

To share His love as He told me to.

He said: ‘Freely, freely, you have received,

Freely, freely give;

Go in My name, and because you believe

Others will know that I live.’

All power is given in Jesus’ name,

In earth and heaven in Jesus’ name;

And in Jesus’ name I come to you

To share His power as He told me to.

Leader: As your children, born again in Christ, we say:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours now and for ever.

This is part of a series originally compiled by Bob Callaghan and Alison Spreadbridge for St Edmund’s Church, Dartford.

Still figuring out what being a disciple might mean. Anglican priest and cyclist. One of the founders and editors of New Roots - partly as a way of hanging on in there!

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