For God so loved the world that he gave his only son. John 3:16a (NRSV)
We learned this verse when we were very young. Have we ever fully understood the ramifications of the message the Apostle John gave us?
What constitutes ‘the world’ for us? For some of us who spend our days at home, the world begins just outside our front doors. Having recently been ill for right at three weeks, the first day I exited our enclosed front porch the world seemed bright with sunshine.
Some of my friends are employed and their days are spent serving others. One young man is employed at the grocery store where we trade. I sometimes see him there. Another friend is a certified nursing assistant at a local healthcare facility. She devotes her working hours caring for infirm people. A grandmother I know works as an office worker for a heating and cooling company. All three of these friends have the ability to show God’s love to those whom they serve.
John didn’t say, “For God so loved the rich. . .”
Or, “For God so loved those who are talented. . .” He didn’t say, “For God so loved those who are law-abiding. . .”
John said For God loved (everyone in) the world. . .” That means He loves those in jail or prison, those who are marginally employed, those who are unemployed, those who are homeless, those who are hungry.
I feel the need to expand my world. I also need to listen more to discover what God wants from me.