Year B Trinity John 3 2012
John 3:1-17

For years, the opening of "The Wide World of Sports" television program illustrated "the agony of defeat" with a painful ending to an attempted ski jump. The skier appeared in good form as he headed down the jump, but then, for no apparent reason, he tumbled head over heels off the side of the jump, bouncing off the supporting structure down to the snow below.

What viewers didn't know was that he chose to fall rather than finish the jump. Why? As he explained later, the jump surface had become too fast, and midway down the ramp, he realized if he completed the jump, he would land on the level ground, beyond the safe sloping landing area, which could have been fatal. Surprisingly, the skier suffered no more than a headache from the tumble. To change one's course in life can be a dramatic and sometimes painful undertaking, but change is better than a fatal landing at the end.

This is the problem Nicodemus is having. Jesus tells Nicodemus that he is facing a fatal landing if he does not change directions...

  1. First, Nicodemus was a religious man.
  2. Secondly, Nicodemus was a powerful person.
  3. Third, Nicodemus was a man of pedigree.
  4. Fourth, Nicodemus was an educated man.

Don't Be Childish, Do Be Child-like
Romans 8:12-17

Why is it that one of the most typically "child-like" things we do is to try and to act like an adult?

Little children dress up like Mom and Dad. (My brothers and I did "fashion shows" for our parents wearing their clothes.)

Kids a little older pretend to drive the car.

Older kids still play with pint-sized pots and pans, play-doctor kits and miniature tool sets.

Some of us are even old enough to remember playing with perhaps the worst child-oriented product ever invented — candy cigarettes. Does anyone remember those? These were facsimile red-tipped replicas that let us "smoke" just like grown-ups. Gives you the shivers now, doesn't it?

The hard truth is children want to imitate and emulate the adults around them -- whatever those behaviors might be. That is why being an "adult," being a "parent," is such an awesome responsibility. That is why we all were sickened this past week to learn of a Tennessee "man" who has already fathered 30 kids by 11 women – and he's only 33.

If as children we act like an adult, as adults we spend a lot of time acting like children, or at least doing things we call "being childish." This is the secret of the Disney franchise. Disney has designed a playground for adults even more than for children. I know someone who is celebrating his 75th birthday by taking everyone in the family on a Disney cruise.

But the hard truth of this side of the equation is that we really aren't acting like children... presents Leonard Sweet