Thursday, August 2, 2012

John 3:16

When I asked this past Sunday if anyone could tell me what John 3:16 said, I was pleased that one of the Eucharistic Ministers could recite the entire verse: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, do that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have everlasting life."

I think that verse is key to understanding the Gospel according to John. Although the Synoptics are certainly about how God's love was made manifest in Jesus, John makes that the explicit focus of his account of the Good News. It was and is in the sending of the Son, the word made flesh, that God's love for the world has been revealed. Although some translators want to make this verse about how much God loves the world, the Greek word translated as "so" means "in this way." God's love is, I believe, infinite, beyond measure, and the point of John 3:16 is the manner in which that love has been expressed.

I have been pleased in the month that I have been worshipping each week with the people of Ascension Memorial Church that they understand that our life together is a gift, that it is all matter of Grace, of God's unconditional love for us and for the world. That gift, of course, challenges us to love the world as God does, to minister as Jesus did to one another and to the least, the last, and the lost.

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