Aug 102020
 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Growing up in the church, I was always taught to individualize this culturally-familiar verse. To personalize it, Sunday School teachers, Youth Group leaders, and motivational speakers would tell us to replace the word “world” with our names; the impact was that the love of God was specifically for me. “For God so loved [R.C.] . . .”

But when Jesus talks to Nicodemus, he does not say, “For God so loved [you] . . .” He says, “For God so loved the world . . .” He says, “For God so loved the cosmos . . .” He says, “For God so loved the entire order of all of creation – how it fits together, how it holds together, how it exhibits perfect peace and harmony together . . .” It’s not unlike what God speaks at the dawn of time – “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). God’s love for this cosmos (including you and me) then grants us comfort and call: the comfort to know that we are indeed loved by God and the call to love the world as God loves the world. – rc

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