Jesus and Saint Nic

December 24th, 2017

It’s not the Saint Nic you’re thinking of . . . even if it is the day before Christmas. Not the one that clambers down chimneys, evaluates the goodness of children and leaves gifts. Nor was this Nic ever made a saint, at least not in the Catholic tradition. I’m speaking rather of Nicodemus, the one made famous by coming to Jesus in the cover of night and eliciting from him the most succinct and abbreviated truth the master had in him.

Oh, that Saint Nic! Yes.

And that Jesus, the one whose name is scrupulously avoided in holiday music in stores even though it’s Christmas! (But that’s another point.)

Here’s this point: Jesus had something to say to all of us and he said it to a representative of highest religious attainment at the time.

Nicodemus was a Jew, a member of the nation to whom God had revealed himself specifically. He was a Pharisee, one of those who sought God most zealously (even over-zealously). He was a leader, sitting on the ruling counsel. And he was Israel’s teacher, so stated Jesus himself. All that seems like the top of the religious ladder. Then add to that his unique humility and openness . . . top of the top.

But Jesus’ response was that he wasn’t there yet and, humanly, never would be. Here’s the famous quote: “You must be born again.”

It was an incredible statement, powerful, used only one time, only by Jesus, and only to one person. But I’m thinking he meant for it to go out from there, which it has. I’m thinking he’s still saying the same to all of us, to everyone.

So, Saint Nic, thanks for representing us and bringing up the subject. My own second birth changed everything, at Christmas, and all other time. I’m forever grateful.

______

PS  Check the full passage, it’s not very long, in John chapter 3, first half.

13 Comments

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  1. Norm Dec 24, 2017
    2:20 pm

    “Born to raise the sons of Earth, born to give them second birth.” So goes the acclaimed carol. I still celebrate that birthday, my second birth, every July. In 1971, it turned my whole world upsidedown. Thanks for the reminder, Hyatt, Christmas is clearly a part of the great Story we’re reminded of over and over, year after year… as John Elderidge says, “The Invasion, the Incarnation. Our rescue.” Bless you and your wonderful family this day. Merry Christmas!

    • Hyatt Moore Dec 25, 2017
      7:11 am

      Thanks, Norm, and for bringing the Charles Westley hymn into this. “Hark the Heard Angels” indeed.

  2. Laurel Hardt Dec 24, 2017
    5:42 pm

    I was born again in a little “black” church in Pacoima. I really didn’t know what “born again” meant. I learned to diligently seek with all my heart until He blessed me with power, speaking in tongues as the Spirit gave utterance. I was full of love and His Spirit. There is nothing like being a new creature, rightly dividing the Word, and personally knowing Jesus and His Father. This happened in 1974!

    • Hyatt Moore Dec 25, 2017
      7:12 am

      Wow, and thanks. Diligently seeking, a good reminder.

  3. jcl Dec 24, 2017
    9:30 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Merry Christmas!

  4. Ashley Dec 25, 2017
    4:10 am

    I prayed yesterday for the revelation God set aside for me at the beginning of the world. I wonder if Nicodemus prayed for it too? So many mysteries it can make the heart sick from curiosity. A good warning, “Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”

    But then there is that promise, seek and you shall find. Nobody who ever did anything for Jesus ever stood still and silent. So, like Nicodemus, we go. Night after night we ask him to explain and to direct. Maybe the true longing is for the conversation? The back and forth of it.

    The whole experience is beautiful.

    Merry Christmas, Hyatt.

    • Hyatt Moore Dec 25, 2017
      7:15 am

      “The true longing is for the conversation . . . ” I love it. And you know it happens.

  5. Wayne Dec 25, 2017
    5:30 am

    Thank you, Hyatt.
    Merry Christmas and a blessed new year to you and yours.

  6. Mabel Pittman Dec 25, 2017
    6:57 am

    Beautiful! Wouldn’t you know the Lord would give you such a crafting of words to come up with “Nic!” Merry Christmas to you and Anne.

    • Hyatt Moore Dec 25, 2017
      7:18 am

      Of course. Everything creative comes from above. Thanks for the greeting. You too.

  7. don graves Dec 25, 2017
    7:54 am

    Thank you Hyatt for the reminder of reading John chapter 3.
    an uplifting thing to do on CHRISTMAS. Love to you and
    Anne from up here in raining Oregon

  8. Sue Dec 28, 2017
    9:14 am

    A lovely perspective. I wonder: how much of it is choice? Jesus stated an imperative; Nic could’ve said no. I remember your first born again Chrismtas – we stared and wondered at what this great thing had happened. So grateful and then, hopeful for those yet to say yes.

    • Hyatt Moore Dec 28, 2017
      10:15 am

      Thanks, Sue. And yes, I expect the family was still fairly stunned by it all. I still am myself.

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