Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus is a perplexing one, to be sure. But in the light of Easter, we can see that Jesus was proclaiming that God is doing something new. Not only that, but God wants us all to be part of that new thing. Addressing Nicodemus, Jesus said that the old ways of worshipping and living were no longer sufficient, and really no longer needed. God was looking not just for people’s obedience, but also, mostly, for their hearts.
We see those hearts at work in the early Christian community. The reading from Acts this morning tells us that the believers cared for one another deeply, and were generous in that care. “The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common.” They were even selling their possessions to give to those who were in need. Nobody felt needy, nobody felt cheated, nobody felt like they were doing more than their share. People were worshipping not just with their minds, but also with their hearts, and their worshipping didn’t stop when they left the worship place.
So the same has to be true for us, we who have known the Lord for so long. We have to be willing to give of our hearts, to believe not just when we’re in church, but also when we are out there, living our lives. That’s especially true now that most of us can’t be in church for worship, but instead have to watch it on Facebook or television. The pandemic gives us the opportunity, and even the nudge to make our faith the real viral thing. So we have to trust God to take care of us when we stick our neck out to help someone else. We have to trust that even when we are doing more than other people are, God will take care of the equity of it all and never be outdone in generosity. We have to worship not just with our minds but also with our hearts.
Because Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!