light of world'
14th April 2021
...we've seen this ...
"God so loved the world
that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him
might not perish but might have
This is arguably the most famous
sentence in the Bible.
I've seen thousands of bumper stickers
and even signs in certain store windows
that read "John 3:16."
This verse has travelled around the world
and has been seen and read by millions
throughout the centuries.
But why is this specific quote so popular?
I think this verse gives us a summary of
the perfect and greatest gift we,
as believers, have received -
the gift of Jesus.
God sent his only Son to suffer and die.
Whether we've seen this in our own lives
or have watched it from a distance,
a parent watching his or her child die
or go through suffering is
heart breaking and painful.
Jesus did not die for a certain
group of people,
but for all of humanity,
for all of us sinners.
God deemed that we were important enough
to him that he was willing to
allow his son to suffer
to save our lives.
The gift of Jesus is truly a remarkable gift;
he had to go through the darkness
to reach that glorious light.
Today's Gospel also reflects on the symbols
of light and darkness;
the light stands for good while
darkness stands for evil.
I love the picture the Bible gives us
of Jesus as the Light of the World
and the Gospel calls us to
"come to the light" so that our
"works may be clearly seen
as done in God."
I think it is an image that
is so full of hope.
But we also know how true it is
that there are those who love the darkness,
as it hides the wrong that they do.
We can use the imagery of light and darkness
in our story about the Apostles
from today's reading from Acts 5:17-26.
They were called to spread the Gospel,
but the high priest put them in prison,
a place of darkness.
During the night,
the angel of the Lord released them into
the light and they continued to
preach the Gospel.
Although God is there to guide us
to live and love with him,
it is certainly difficult to remain
in a place of light especially since
the world around us is oftentimes
a place of darkness.
It is our challenge as people of faith
to let God help us live in the light
and to remove obstacles of darkness
from our lives
so that we may remain in that light.
When we look around us,
and watch the news,
it is all too clear that we live
in a world of darkness,
and sometimes that can feel overwhelming.
But if we are to be people of The Light,
then we have to shine that light of Jesus,
even into the darkest places.
We can bring the light that
exposes wrongdoing, and that brings
justice and hope to people who need it most.
Are there dark areas or situations
that we know of, where Jesus would
want us to shine his light?
How can we do that?
Why not take some time now to pray
for those people and places,
and for how we might be used there
to bring light and hope.
It may be interesting to watch,
or just listen to a song
'God so loved the world '
by John Rutter
via the link shown below.