As I was preparing to write the article for this fourth Sunday of Lent, I read something by a minister name Dr. Dan Wuori. I thought it was very good, so I’d like to use some of his ideas and then my own to think about a word we hear all the time: LOVE. The Bible verse this week is probably the most well-known verse in the Bible: John 3:16.
We use the word love a lot – but what does it really mean? What are you saying when you tell someone that you love them? We love our parents; we love pizza; we love to play sports; we love our pets; we love our new outfit; we say we love a many things, but is that love all the same? When you love someone – truly love them – it means that you care so deeply about them that you’d do anything for them. Love is a very powerful thing.
This week’s Gospel lesson contains the verse John 3:16. We see it many, many places – written on signs sometimes at sporting events or bumper stickers or on greeting cards. It came from the Bible though, and the reason it’s so famous is that it sort of tells the story of the Gospels in only one sentence. There’s a name for that – we call it a summary.
John 3:16 is all about LOVE – God’s love for us. It tells about how God showed us His love by giving us His only son. You know who that Son is, right? It was Jesus, and He died a terrible death just to show His love for us and save us from our sin. That’s a lot of love, isn’t it?
I imagine many of you already know this verse by heart. If you do say it with me as you read this. If not, maybe you can start to memorize it. It’s a wonderful beginning point to know that will always be powerful and meaningful for you to remember in difficult times.
For God so loved the world… That he gave his only Son… So that everyone who believes in him… May not perish, but have eternal life.
Let’s pray together. Dear God, thank You for the love You show us each day. You gave us Your Son so we might be able to live eternally with You in heaven. Jesus died so that we might live. Help us never to forget that fact. In Your name we pray, Amen.
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church.