We come to hear the Good News, to embody the love of God in Christ as we share our lives with others.
You may like to light a candle at this time.
God’s truth is revealed in Jesus Christ the light of the world. May the light shine for the hope of the world.
The opening song is, “Won my heart:, courtesy of Emu Music. If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to YouTube:
God of every blessing, you invite us into a life of deep meaning and purpose, a life of loving goodness and faithfulness. You nurture in us wisdom and hope, to be a reflection of your kingdom.
Yet at times we would rather hold onto stale and unhealthy ways of understanding. Beliefs that we some how know are not reflective of your life or love. Renew your call within us- your call to be open to your transformational life-giving presence.
From the Bible
The Bible reading for today is from John 3:1-17. The words of the reading are below. There is also a video of a dramatic re-enactment of the Gospel reading underneath.
Born from above
Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him,
“Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.”
Nicodemus said to him,
“How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?”
The wind blows where it wills
“Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus said to him,
“How can these things be?”
Jesus answered him,
“Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? “Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
Here is the dramatic re-enactment of the Gospel reading by the Visual Bible Project. If you have trouble connecting you can go directly to YouTube at:
The message is brought to you by Tim Jensen from the Saltbush Community. Nicodemus, a man of deep faith visits Jesus to find in him someone who points the way to a God who will not be confined by our limited understanding of who we say this God is.
I wonder what you have heard and thought from the Word today? In what ways do you think Nicodemus needed to be challenged? I wonder what you heard in the Word for our church? How do you understand the Spirit as being a wind that blows where it will and being unbound by our expectations?
Before a time of prayer you may like to spend some time in silence sitting still. Close your eyes lightly. Sit relaxed but alert. Simply be still and open to God. You may prefer to do this while listening to the ‘Optional reflective music’ below.
Optional reflective music
The reflective music is, ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation’, by Francesca LaRosa (note: it is very reflective but you may prefer to turn the volume down a bit). If you have problems connecting, also try this link at YouTube:
Prayers for Others
Let us pray.
Ever present God, may we have the same open and inquisitive nature as Nicodemus so we may also be challenged to move beyond our ways of thinking, believing and acting which have caused hurt and division. Freed to enter your realm of eternal grace and love. (pause)
For those who are shut out and shunned by the injustices they experience each day as they are judged by gender, race, class and religion.
Give us the words to speak and the courage to act for a just world. (pause)
For the planet and all living things that fight for survival against the insatiable plunder of human excess. Give us the words to speak and the courage to act for a just world.
We know you are with those who are experiencing difficult days in our communities, may we be free to share our lives with them also. Give us the words to speak and the courage to act for a just world. (pause)
In this time of silence, we bring you, our prayers. (pause)
In Christ, Amen.
Go out into the world, to love and serve the Lord. Bless us and the people we meet along the way. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
‘At the name of Jesus’, to the tune Camberwell. If you have problems connecting, go directly to YouTube at:
The prayers are based on content in the Saltbush service for this week, which can be found at: