the NEW view of John 3:16

Remember this verse many of us learned in childhood, and in KJV?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should
not perish, but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16

As a child, the emphasis was on the end of the verse, but today we need to take a new look at the first part of the verse, “For God so loved the WORLD…”

It doesn’t say,
For God so loved the CHURCH…
For God so loved the UNITED METHODISTS…
For God so loved the WEALTHY and ENFRANCHISED…
For God so loved the PREACHERS…

No, it says, that God loves the WORLD! Today, we need to focus on loving the world as God did…with depth and sacrifice.

The WORLD is everywhere: in BARS where friends are drowning their sorrows; in FAMILIES that are feuding; in TOWNS that are crushed by racism and racial profiling; in BUS STATIONS and DETENTION CENTERS where children have traveled across one, two and three national borders, seeding safety and home. These are the locations where the WORLD is crying out for the Church to be a very present help in a time of trouble. The world is swirling with news of these events. So today I have a question. What are we doing to show the indisputable evidence of God’s love for the WORLD in the midis of the Swirl?

Last week we buried my husband’s father, a man who lived 90 years and preached until a week before his death.  And he is the last of my foundation to leave. In 2012, my mother-in-law died, and then both my parents in 2013. So in our family, the baton has been fully passed. And knowing they are gone has changed me. It makes one grow up and realize that now that the baton is in your hands, we must do something with it!

So what must I do?  To begin I can think of two things that are unfinished business of my generation of spiritual leaders.  We must take care of these two things before we pass the baton to the next generation of leaders, so that they don’t inherit our left-over crap.

1.  I have to continue to work to rid our world (or at least The Church) of racism in all it’s forms.  Racism that is personal, legal, political, law-enforcement, lingual, familial, stereotypical, and profiling, And I want to be a part of the Movement that fully rids The Church of Institutional racism. My children don’t understand why we make such a big deal about racial issues, but they are inheriting a world, and (my heart stops) a Church, that still hates The Other, The Different, The Hidden-Ones.  I can’t leave them with a Half-Finished Job of ridding our world, or at least our Church, of left-over-and-even-full-blown racism.

2.  Secondly, I hope to clear the way for the Death and Resurrection of The-Church-as-We-Know-It.  I have to pry my fingers off the Buildings, Traditions, Finances, and Theologies that bind us. I have to be open to the Surprise of the Next-Move-of-God’s-Spirit. I have to do my part to clean the House of the Rot-Mold-and-Ruin that I created by my Own-Understanding of What-Is-Right-and-Good.  I want to prepare to hand the next generation a Lean Church that is Faithful, Real (Joe Daniels) and about Love.Period (Rudy Rasmus). I want them to have traditions that are foundational and not binding; buildings that are assets and not shackles; dreams that are new and not worn-out… I want them to know when the baton is passed, we will support the new Pastors and Leaders; we will hold them in prayer, and we will block the Institutional Bullies that attempt to squash dreams with fear and finances. And I want to be ready to LET GO of the Baton, so that they can take the next leg of the Race and Run On…

Because God so loved the WORLD, we have some work to do. As a Church, we have a lot of Loving to attend to. Loving God’s world, ridding ourselves of the sin of Racism, to start with…, and creating a church that is all about Love. This is the NEW view of John 3:16:  first things first. Love the World.
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4 comments

  1. Yoku imi ga, jibun no yōna gokai” keihatsu” no hito wa tada kami wa kesshite, ima made henkō sa renai koto o rikai shite inai toki, watashi wa totemo shitsubō shite, dochira mo kare no kotoba wa okonaimasen. Anata ga kodomo to shite mananda uta no saigo no bubun ga jūyōdearu yuiitsu no bubundearu. Anata wa, osoraku Kirisuto wa, ima made ni tsuite hanashita koto wa arimasen Iesu iwayuru shakai seigi, atisu natte kite imasu. Kare wa shakai seigi o kojin-teki jizen dantai o shuchō sezu,.

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