Some of us familiar with faith, comfortable in the pew of our choice, are more like Nicodemus than we care to admit. Not ready to come out of the church closet where we suspect our concrete answers rest on shaky ground, we do our seeking at night, so to speak, so as not to be exposed as doubters. But the same Spirit that drove Nicodemus to risk his standing in the Sanhedrin drives us. There is something more to Jesus than our catechisms can contain or explain. So as Nicodemus, the teacher of Israel, seeks out the peasant preacher at night to ask the question that is most on his mind, “who are you?” we come with our own questions. Jesus, who is not one to give an easy answer, is surprisingly straight forward. “God so loved the world…” is all one needs to know. It is the same world (cosmos) that loving the darkness “knew him not”. The same world that John tells us hated Jesus, the world in which one will have troubles, the world from which disciples will need to be protected, etc. etc. The feel good John 3:16 on coffee cups and t-shirts and banners in the end zone cannot be fully appreciated without recognizing that the world God loves, hell bent on destruction, is not interested in anything God has to offer. It is for that reason that God allowed the world to do its worst so that in his dying the world might receive life, whether it wants it or not. But isn’t there a choice to make? Of course there is and God was the one who made it. We live God’s choice when loving God we love the world. It takes some time but eventually the love of God in Nicodemus sees the light of day and he risks everything to ask Pilate for the body of the crucified Christ. What he didn’t know then, but of course knows now, is that Jesus (God saves) made Nicodemus (the people’s victory) possible.