Today’s scripture: John 3:1-21 (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Tammy Mills):

After seeing Melissa Etheridge live in concert, I just can’t get my mind off of her. I guess that is why I started thinking about buying my first Melissa CD when I read this passage. I remember it like it was yesterday…

I went to my local Wal-Mart and headed for the music department. I was just sure everyone in the store could tell I was going to buy a “Melissa” CD. I could feel their judgment and name calling. I felt sure everyone was thinking, “Oh, she must be one of those.” When I did spot the CD, I was afraid to pick it up.

I ran out of the music department. I did some other shopping and then returned to the music department, determined to pick up my Melissa CD. You can’t imagine how quickly I picked up the CD and ran out of there!

You should have seen me trembling, as I placed the CD on the conveyer belt for the clerk to ring up. I was certain she was going to get on the loud speaker and shout out, “This lesbian needs a price check on her lesbian music!” My heart was beating fast and I was just sure I was going to be “outed” at the Wal-Mart!

I wasn’t outed at Wal-Mart, thank goodness — though that would have been a great story! I felt like I was taking a risk, purchasing my Melissa music, but I also knew I desperately needed to find someone I could relate to, who might share some of the experiences I was going through. There was a real hole in my soul and I was willing to take some risk to figure out what might fit in that place.

I think Nicodemus might have had some of the same feelings. He was a powerful guy. He had money and an important job. He was taking a risk going to see that rabble-rouser, Jesus. Even though it was risky, he knew he had to find out more. There was a hole in his soul and he wondered if Jesus might be what would fill it.

Jesus warmly received Nicodemus and gave him some powerful truth about what it might take to fill that hole in his soul. We all know John 3:16, but be sure to look at the verse that follows. Jesus wasn’t sent here to condemn, but to save. The world might have condemned Nicodemus, but Jesus didn’t. The world might condemn us, but Jesus never will.

Thought for the day: Am I living like I am condemned or am I living like I am a person set free? What risk am I willing to take to get to know Jesus better?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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