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Gospel centred sermons, based on the lectionary often in advance.

Mar 6, 2011

Focus reading: John 3:1-17 Presented @ St Stephen's Toowoomba 6 March 2011

I'm terrible at asking for help! In this I guess I'm like a lot of people. Most people would rather do things themselves than ask for help. More than that when we hear something is for free we tend to be suspicious and ask "What's the catch?" We get cynical and tend to believe that "Nothing is free, there is always a cost to everything." This is the sort of thing that is happening in today's Bible reading. Nicodemus comes to Jesus and has trouble understanding what Jesus means when he says you must be born again. What Jesus means by this strange expression "born again" is that we can't do things by ourselves, we need help from outside and God gives that help freely as a gift. Nicodemus doesn't understand. He wants to do something; he wants to know how to do it himself. "How can I go back to my mother's womb?" he asks. You can't! What you can do however is accept that you need help, that you can't do it alone. At the heart of the Christian story is the idea that God wanted to help us so much that he gave us his son so that whoever believes is now "mates" with God. It's hard to accept we need that we need that kind of help.

Questions for thought or discussion.

How easy is it to ask for help? Can you think of times when you have got yourself into a mess rather than admit you need help? Are you willing to share that story? What do you think of the idea that we all need help from God? Can you think of anyone who has got where they are without help?