March 6, 2023

John 3:16  “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.” (The Message Bible)

This is Peterson’s version of the famous passage many of us learned in Sunday School years ago: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Maybe you have seen people holding up signs reading John 3:16 on football broadcasts. Some folks consider it to be “the gospel in a nutshell.” What the King James version calls “everlasting life,” the Message renders as “a whole and lasting life.” There are times in the history of a nation when the citizens give their sons, and now their daughters, into military service and for some death in order for the life of the nation to be continued. Witness the Ukraine. Love of country, family, neighbors, can be very strong. Perhaps that is part of why God had the story of Jesus play out as it did. Can there be love without risk and the willingness to accept pain? I hope so, but it is not often part of our experience as humans. God meets us where we are and does for us what we cannot do for ourselves and does it out of love. Is that something you can believe?


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