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Manna for Nicodemus

Source: John 3: 3-8


A hundred pounds of myrrh and aloe. For the embalming.

Do you remember what he said to you when you came to speak with him, by night?

He said, "You have to die in the flesh to be reborn in the Spirit.
But for that to happen, first you have to be born in the Spirit.''

Or, to put it another way: you have to be touched by the Spirit while you're living in the flesh.

Nicodemus, today is your dying day, and your brain is buzzing as if with tamarisk manna insects. Your neurons, like the tamarisk manna trees on Sinai, have aligned their fate with the falling night and the rising sun. The warmth and the loveliness of the dawn have made their branches tremble, and their trembling has awakened the tiny producers of sweetness.

The tree cannot live without the insects; they have always been together. And, in the same way that manna is formed by the insects nourished by the tree, sweet, nourishing thoughts like honeydew have begun to form in your spirit. They have flowed into your limbs, run down your cheeks, and fallen to the ground, where children gather them up.

I know: you deeply believed that man was the truth; you saw that nothing in him was false.

A hundred pounds of myrrh and aloe. For the embalming.
Do you think all the tamarisk trees on Sinai can produce manna to sustain your last dawn?

He had died. The myrrh and aloe burned your fingers. Your hands ran over his bruised body. Your tears blended with the fragrant oils you used to anoint him.
But soon, he will be reborn in the Spirit.
And then the tamarisk manna trees will flourish, and the myrrh and aloe will have no use.

Nicodemus, this last dawn is your dusk. Soon your tomb will be occupied. So taste the honeydew being produced by your spirit: it is a gift of God.