“Yes, God so loved the world as to give the Only Begotten One, that whoever believes may not die, but have eternal life. God sent the Only Begotten One into the world not to condemn the world, but that through the Only Begotten, the world might be saved.
Whoever believes in the Only Begotten avoids judgement, but whoever does not believe is judged already for not believing in the name of the Only Begotten of God.
On these grounds is sentence pronounced: that though the light came into the world, people showed they preferred darkness to the light because their deeds were evil. Indeed, those who do wrong, hate the light and avoid it, for fear their actions will be exposed; but whoever lives the truth comes out into the light, so that it may be plainly seen that what they do is done in God.”
For all the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Lent click here.
- In your life experience as an LGBTQ person/ally, what have been the most challenging conversations you have had? How has the Sacrament of Reconciliation, or conversations with a spiritual director or trusted friend, helped you find grace, illumination, affirmation, forgiveness and/or peace? Have such conversations empowered you to more dialogue?
- Jesus said to Nicodemus: “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so also must the Chosen One be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in the Chosen One may have eternal life.” The paradox of being lifted up here, is being “lifted-up” to the cross. How have members of the LGBTQ/ally community been “lifted-up” in this way over the course of history to serve as examples of LGBTQ hope, strength and new life? How has this paradox featured in your own life?
- Some people feel that institutional religion often wants to control people and limit one’s relationship with God to the example of the past, the traditions of worship, and gendered Scripture interpretation. How do you encounter the wild, untamable Spirit of the Living God in institutional religion? As an LGBTQ person/ally, have you ever used religious legalism as a substitute for love of God and neighbor? How do you break “tablets of stone” and heed the “tablets written in your heart” (2 Corinthians 3:3)?
- Nicodemus appears three times in the Gospel of John. In Chapter 3 verse 2, Nicodemus comes to Christ. In Chapter 7 verses 45-52, Nicodemus defends Christ, and in Chapter 19 verses 39-40, Nicodemus honors Christ by preparing God’s body for burial. During this season of Lent how will you engage Christ? How have leaders in the church or the LGBTQ/ally community inspirited you to come to Christ, defend Christ or honor Christ?
- How has the example of Nicodemus invited you to come out of the darkness, or “out of the closet,” in a way, so that the words of scripture may be fulfilled in you: “Whoever lives the truth comes out into the light, so that it may be plainly seen that what they do is done in God.” For what reason/s might you still “prefer the darkness” at this time?
Telling a story isn’t just about recording the action. It is also about how the images are captured and enhanced to create a visual narrative. The cinematography in the short film, below, weaves together the Gospel concepts of darkness and light to create such a narrative.
This story, inspired by true events, asks about preferring the darkness or coming out into the light. The characters have to choose.