Last Sunday the Gospel reading was from John 3 and included the well-known John 3:16 “For God so loved the world…” We are reminded that God didn’t kind of love some people, God didn’t have a little bit of love for specific people. But God “so” loved the world. Some translations state it as “God loved the world so much” (CEV) or “this is how much God loved the world” (MSG.) It’s a description of God’s great love for all of humanity.
We humans can sometimes forget that God loves people different from us. We like to form tribes and keep ourselves insulated and safe. God isn’t against safety, but God is not for walls that keep others out or separate. Humanity – all of humanity – were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27.)
Paul writes in his letter to the Galatians in chapter 3 that we are all children of God, united.
“There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (vs 28)
Jesus cared for and loved and served insiders and outsiders, he came to save not condemn. As we grow in faith, we become more like Jesus and do the things he did and does. We care for and love and serve insiders and outsiders. That’s how people will know that God so loves the world: when we love the world too.
It’s hard. There are a lot of things standing in the way of our loving and serving others. Systems and patterns that have been in place for generations. But Jesus never said it would be easy, just simple.
Lord, help us to be more like you. Help us to do the hard things. Help us to love our sisters and brothers of all humanity. Through you, nothing is impossible. Amen.
Please join us tomorrow at 10:00 am MST in the livestream of worship for the Fifth Sunday of Lent.
Grace be with you,