This past Sunday’s gospel had to do with Nicodemus’ going to Jesus in the night. Nicodemus is the patron saint for curiosity. Several times he seeks Jesus because there is something this young rabbi Nicodemus wants/needs to know. He is curious enough to risk his place in society to get to know this Jesus of Nazareth. To be curious is to have a desire to know, to understand, to discover.
Author Craig M. Watts tells of a survey in which 80 percent of Americans claim to be Christian, yet when asked to choose from a list of identities, over 80 percent first claimed to be Americans. One might come to the conclusion that being an American is of utmost importance and being a person of faith is of less importance. I am curious as to why Christians don’t claim being a follower of Jesus first? It may be because many Americans have a difficult time separating their devotion to America and their devotion to God. For some Americans they go hand-in-hand and they fail to see the implications of this priority.
To test how you feel about co-mingling patriotism and faith, ask yourself how you might feel if the American flag were to be removed from the the nave of your church. While you are pondering, read Exodus 20:1-6. What are you curious about?
The Rt. Rev. Morris K. Thompson, Jr.
Bishop of Louisiana
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