Note: This is the text as I prepared it. However, the preaching moment was rather different. Instead of sharing a bit of my story in the second half of the sermon, I invited the congregation to ask questions about the Eucharist. At both services we had lively conversations about transubstantiation, about what happens if one receives “unworthily” (I Corinthians 11), about communion without baptism.
Jesus says many strange things in the Gospel of John. Many of these sayings are so strange that we don’t pay attention to them anymore. Often, the Christian Church has interpreted them in such a way to make them less strange and those interpretations have become so fixed, that many of us don’t experience or encounter their strangeness. And when we encounter people in the text puzzled by what Jesus is saying, we think they are being willfully obtuse. So in chapter 3, Jesus says to Nicodemus, “You must be born again (or from above)” And Nicodemus responds, “How can someone enter their mother’s womb again?” Continue reading