For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that who ever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life
The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
“I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”
So Abram went, as the Lord had told him;
Let us pray
Hide me behind your cross, Lord. May my words be your heart. You have told us you love us, help us to know your love and live it every day of our lives. Amen
I love to read. I went on strike in Kindergarten because we weren’t learning to read there, so my mom promised to teach me to read over the summer. By the time I went back to first grade I was reading at a fifth grade level; by the time I went to third, I was reading at a college level. I tell you all of this to let you know that when it comes to books, I am a fan. I love horror stories and love stories and adventure stories. Dystopian novels are fun, but I also love histories and biographies. If you print it on a page, I probably would love to read it. All good books start well. The Bible is no exception. Genesis is one of my favorite books in the Bible. It tells us about the beginnings of the world and the way God was at work from the start. God created, God was disappointed, God promised: and then God set a plan in motion that is still at work today: a redemptive covenant that would restore the relationship we need and had with God. We were loved from the first page and we are loved to this day, by a God who started out planning redemption with an old man named Abram.
What does it mean to say God loves?
God loved us enough to create us, to form us from the dust.
God loved us enough to let us fail, to let us choose our own way over God’s – to let us chain ourselves to sin and defeat and heartbreak and sorrow and death.
God loved us enough to provide a rescue, a way back: through wanderers, murderers, adulterers, defaulters, promise-breakers, foreigners, strangers, and lovers.
God loved us enough to show us mothers, judges, kings, and prophets who loved and spoke for God and kept reminding us of the promise of redemption
God loved us enough to show us how evil and wrong continually mess things up and how obedience to God fosters holiness and bestows blessing
God loved us enough to send us Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, to preach and live peace, grace, hope, joy, and love.
God loved us enough to see Jesus rejected, to see him die, to see him buried.
God loved us enough to raise Jesus from the dead and send the Holy Spirit to remind us of all we have in him and empower us to live like him.
God loved us enough to want us to live like Jesus – and abundant life infused with all the fruit of the Spirit, redeemed, free, loved.
God loved us enough to still let us choose our destiny.
God loved us enough to promise the hope of forever, of resurrection from the dead, and judgement.
God loved us enough, God loves us enough, God will always love us enough.
For God so loved the world…
God loves you.
God wants you to know it. God wants you to live in it.
God wants you to be able to love others because you know you are loved.
God’s love is expressed to us every week, most tangibly, as we gather at this table: The Son who died and yet lives, gave everything so we could know the depth of God’s love.
So, Come. Drink the wine. Eat the bread. Know you ARE loved.
God loves you. Go, love the world with him.