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JN 3: 1-17
(Back to MARK next week!!!!)

While clearly Jesus as Son 'relates' to the other personae of God, any idea that he's interested in defining, 'fixing' God as we've done with the Trinity idea (shades of MT 28:19!) would be un-Jewish & unhelpful. If we expound the Trinity idea in the pulpit, let's remember that like John Brown, God is always moving on, & has already escaped from any label of our making.

Both the 'anew' & 'from above' aspects of being born are positive & important. Matthew Fox some- where quotes Meister Eckhart as preaching that "God is always the newest thing there ever is" or words to that effect. May our birthing & re-birthing be so renewing. 'From aboving' stands for godly renewal too, as long as we don't think of it in Flat Earth Society terms! Are we living anew & from above out in our margins?

The longer I think about it the more I believe Jesus is not on about Baptismal water when he talks to my favourite Irishman (Nick O'Demus. Nor, I should add, is he on about water for whiskey) but the waters of birth. In context that makes much better sense. Over all, Jesus doesn't appear too bothered about baptism, unless, that is, you believe he really is behind MT 28:19. Here he's contrasting human physical birth with divine Spiritual birth in powerful imagery. And bringing them together.

The serpent in the wilderness theme is burned into Jesus' psyche. It's smouldering away in his whole Ministry, as well as in his Passion. It's a potent connection between God at work in old Israel & God raising Jesus from death in the new. God heals this much! Is there anything we need healed so much?

Have you come across, as I have, those who quote JN 3:16, but act as though God is more on about condemning than rescuing? I know that v.18 follows v.17 which follows v.15 & 16, but do we have  an attitude problem? Failing to grapple with Jesus' total meaning & God's total nature can see us trying to project our problem onto others, & worse still, God, too. Blake's view of the Spirit as 'the love that flows between the Father & the Son' is vibrant & energising, & keeps us on track.