Year A - Second Sunday in Lent or Conviction 
March 16, 2014
How ethereal is faith? Might it touch the stuff of life without being contaminated by law/works?
While Paul may be trying to make a case that faith is separate from and precedes works, his presentation has been received as a separation of the two. All that is creedally important is the form of the words recited. This is not about power as words are powerful and shape our behavior. It is, however, about being able to honestly engage creation (our own and that through us).
We have focused on one side of an internal argument about what is Jewish and what is Christian. This is like listening to Fox News and thinking you have a sense of what is really going on in the world. Everything gets filtered through only one lens. Even their brief forays into another’s vision is intentionally set in a context that makes it laughable and dismissible. Don’t doubt for a minute the structure of faith of Fox News. They will subvert every “work” to it. Lest there be any doubt, it is not just Fox News, we all do the same, just less consciously.
Back to this text, is this a more or less helpful response than Jesus’ to people like Nicodemus? Perhaps it is a toss-up? Would you prefer to deal with Jesus or Paul?