• Mitt Romney and Nicodemus

    Going against the grain is never fun.
    But sometimes it’s necessary.

    In the case of Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah and his decision to side with Democrats in the recent U.S. Senate impeachment vote, it was a decision made not to deepen friendships in his party, but, as he put it, to be obedient to his conscience.

    Following our conscience, even when it puts us at odds with our peers, is a reason we pay close attention to the Jewish leader Nicodemus. In Sunday’s gospel we see that unlike the rest of the religious leadership of his day Nicodemus was not combative or dismissive of Jesus, but curious and intentional about investigating his suspicions.

    In Nicodemus, who came to Jesus by night in order to ask some deep questions, we see someone who’s trying to be true to himself. He is brave, courageous, and a man of conviction.

    Yes, this is a message for us today because in our desire to fit in, play it safe, and not cause a stir, we often compromise ourselves, which is not just about us, but about the God-given gift in us. And our work with that gift is not to tame or conform it, but to listen to it and develop it.

    Why do we suppose the Lord made us all so different if not to bring all of us, contrarian ideas and all, to the table?

    So we ask:
    In what ways are we afraid to buck the trend?
    How are we being called to stand up for something?
    How might we find courage to do the unpopular and unsafe?

    Conviction more than conformity validates our Christianity. 
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