03/12/17 - "The Jig is Up…They Call Me Paul" - Gospel: John 3:1-17

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          I am a creature of habit.  I tend to do the same things everyday, in the same order, so as to expedite the simple things in life and not waste mental energy on unimportant or inconsequential decisions.  Accordingly, I find myself going to the same place for breakfast on the way into work, on more days than I care to admit.  If I am on a phone call when I pull up, very often by the time I get in, my breakfast is ready and waiting for me.  Some years ago, the young lady who is now manager there, called me “Paul”.  For some reason, she thought that was my name.  There were a number of people in line, and I was distracted by my phone, so I was sufficiently taken aback not to correct her.  I let it go.  The next day I was in, in a similar long line-up, she called me “Paul” again.  And in the coming days, the remainder of the staff began to call me “Paul” too.  I thought it was kind of cute and never corrected it.  I’ve lead a second life as “Paul” for about 8 years now.

            Friday, March 10, 2017, marks the beginning of a new era for me.  The owner, who has seldom been there that early in the morning, said to me at the cash register, “remind me your name again…”  I replied, “they call me Paul.”  He looked a little confused.  “Is that your name?”  “Only here,” I smiled.  I told him the story, so he said, “oh well, the jig is up!  We’ll fix that!”  Well, that little secret has been with me for so long, it seems a bit weird to consider being just me again…

            Our text this weekend contains at least two of the most commonly misunderstood ideas in all of scripture:  “being born again,” and the “gospel in a nutshell.”  Well, the jig is up!  We’re going to talk about the over-arching message in this weekend’s text:  The unfathomable depth of God’s love for us! 


           ~Pr. Luther