For God So Loved the World
John 3:16-21

This scripture reading begins with one of the most well-known verses in the Bible, one that contains the very essence of the gospel: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (3:16). It tells us that salvation is initiated by God and that His love is the motivating factor. His love extends out to each and every person in the world.

This first verse speaks of love and salvation, but the next few speak of judgment and condemnation. Jesus’ mission is to reconcile and cleanse, but those who choose to reject the Son, to reject God’s saving work, bring judgment and condemnation upon themselves. Those who choose darkness choose against God. Those who respond to His love come into the light and carry out their lives in God.

During this Lenten time of reflection and repentance, I think about the way in which this scripture reading demonstrates to me how easy it is to get too satisfied with myself and slowly but surely move away from the light of God into the darkness of evil. By getting distracted by earthly matters, I tend to get caught in self and drift away from the truth and light of God.

Stepping Out in Lent – Let us try to pray to the Lord and to read and meditate on His word daily so that we open our hearts to God’s love in order to stay in His light and out of darkness.

Author – Jerry Ford, an ophthalmologist, is married to Cay. They have three children; the older two are acolytes. Jerry has served on the vestry, has participated in a mission trip to Guatemala, and has helped with Kairos prison ministry weekends. He is currently on the finance committee, and serves as head usher.