God So Loved the World

The Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for your home

March 10, 2024 – Fourth Sunday of Lent, John 3:14-21

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Lent is often thought of as a retreat time for active believers. The actual word, Lent, comes from an earlier word associated with springtime, a time when warmer days come our way, and nature creates new buds and sprouts around us. And the primary message of the liturgy is that new life with God is renewed though our deeper awareness of God and God’s attitude and intent for us. The holiest week of the year is on the horizon when we recall the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. All of this takes place because of God and God’s reason for creating life, especially our personal lives during this time of Creation.

Perhaps you have pondered the provocative philosophical question: Why is there something and not nothing at all. I certainly have. Many times! And for me the most satisfying answer is what I have learned from my religious faith. And from the catechism that I learned in my youth

Today’s gospel includes this sentence: “For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son ...  (that we) might have eternal life.” So why is there something and why are you and me living right now? It’s because the basic attitude of God is that of love. God not only loves, but God’s very nature is loving. God will not do otherwise than share God’s own life with others, with you and me. With everyone. It’s both that simple and that amazing and that wonderful.



That we have this reality remembered and recorded in the gospels is remarkable in itself. I like to think that God’s Spirit had a hand (metaphorically speaking) in this happening. Sadly, some do not take these words, or this reality to heart.


Years ago, there was widespread conversation in church circles that the gospels are “good news” to those who know its message. This was necessarily noted because there have been those who had used the Bible and the gospels mostly to accuse people of their weaknesses, their faults and their sins. In other words, its “bad news.” That’s not to ignore that there is sin in the world because there certainly is.


But of more power and might is the message of God’s forgiveness and God’s persistent attitude of love toward everyone who has lived here, who lives here right now, and who will live here in the time ahead. To put this another day, the primary reason for Jesus coming to be with us was to show us God’s love. We come into life as an act of love on God’s part and will be sustained in life by God who deeply loves us forever.     

  David M. Thomas, PhD     

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