By Sarah Blamires
Begin with 2 minutes of Silence
John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
“For God so loved the world...” You are so loved. Oftentimes, we feel unlovable. We focus on our flaws, bad habits, and past mistakes. We can feel wholly undeserving of love - from God, others, or ourselves. We can have days where we sink so deep into this distorted view of ourselves, we completely lose sight of the fact that we are already so loved. Even at our absolute worst - our ugliest, our meanest, during our biggest failures - we are still beloved children of God.
The same goes for those around us, especially those who appear unlovable to us. They are beloved children of God, deserving of love, even at their worst too.
Everyday, every moment, he is coming to you with love.....
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save [it]...” Jesus wasn’t sent to you to condemn you or judge you for your shortcomings. He comes to save you. Everyday, every moment, he is coming to you with love - to hold you, to hold these things that are too heavy for you; he comes with grace to save you - sometimes from yourself and to show you a path to real, resurrected life.
Again, the same goes for others. Jesus didn’t come to condemn them. And we shouldn’t either. We should not walk into a room or a conversation with judgement, but with God’s grace. Our - or at least my - natural tendency is to be judgemental, not graceful. To enter into interactions with a set of opinions that I think are right. But we are given an example of something better, kinder, and more beautiful.
Question for Reflection
How do you think about this scripture differently when you replace the word “world” with the word “you?” For God so loved you that he gave his one and only Son...For God did not send his Son to condemn you, but to save you.
When guilt, shame, not being enough, not doing enough, [insert whatever you struggle with] becomes too much, remind me that all of these anxieties can be silenced by this simple truth: I am so loved. You did not come to condemn me, but to save me. Please show me your grace and empathy with others, so I can make them feel that they are so loved too, especially when they are at their worst. Amen.
End with 2 minutes of Silence