It's no surprise that Nicodemus goes home befuddled. If discipleship doesn't come with some confusion, it probably isn't Jesus you're following.
Epiphany | Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany (Year C)
Isaiah 6:1-8, (9-13) (Psalm 138); 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 5:1-11
The preacher faces several challenges in these Ascension texts. How can we present Jesus’ departure from the earth as an occasion for not sorrow but celebration? How to translate the kingship and hierarchical language into imagery that speaks to a world no longer governed by kings and monarchs? Feminist biblical scholars note a third challenge: How can we counter Luke-Acts' use of the Ascension to exert a degree of social control?
Last fall a friend of mine attended a lecture at the University of Mississippi delivered by Stanley Hauerwas. His talk was followed by an invigorating, hour-long question-and-answer dialogue. My friend reported that afterward he and some students, another minister and several laypeople went to someone’s house and talked about God for another hour or so. How novel.