“Nicodemus came to Jesus by night and said to him, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God.’”
“We know,” Nicodemus said. But Jesus confounded and even canceled what he knew.
What do we know about Christ? This meeting between Jesus and Nicodemus gets me second-guessing what our knowing is worth. Will Jesus draw us, like Nicodemus, into unknowing?
“Be still and know that I am God,” is our theme this Lent. At evening prayer on Wednesdays, St. Paul people will tell stories about when they were still and knew God was God.
But the knowing born of stillness seems to be entirely different than the knowing Nicodemus asserted.
“The Cloud of Unknowing” is a small guide to contemplative prayer, written by an anonymous Christian mystic in the Middle Ages. It advises the student, “For God can well be loved, but God cannot be thought. By love God can be grasped and held, but by thought, neither grasped nor held.”
Is this what Jesus was showing Nicodemus? Nic resisted. Then he let go a little. Then at the cross, he let go completely.
“The Book of Privy Counsel” (a kind of second volume to “The Cloud of Unknowing”) says, “And so I urge you, go after experience rather than knowledge.”
Ask God to help you hold what you know lightly, or even to let go of it completely. Can you seek simply to love God and to be loved by God? --PC