Why is it that we see so much violence in the world? Why is it that there are so many wars and rumors of wars? Why is it that, in the news, we hear more about hate than love? If you’re like me, then you’ve heard enough bad news to last a lifetime.
Day after day, we’re bombarded with images and news that push us to the brink of despair. If we were to only focus on the bad and terrible things happening here in our own country, and around the world, we would soon lose all hope.
In the midst of the hustle and bustle of life, and in the midst of uncertainty about the future, we pause to remember the greatest thing we’ve ever heard, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”
These words bring calmness to our anxious minds and hearts. For they tell us that there is a God who created all things, and loves His creation. Not only does He love His creation, but He sent Jesus to His creation, in order to save it.
We clearly understand from Scripture that God is almighty, all-knowing, all-seeing. In addition to these qualities, God is holy, or without sin. He demands for His creation to be holy, too. Every single person has fallen short of perfection. There is no one in the world who would have the audacity to claim to be perfect. At least, I don’t think anyone would claim to be perfect. Nowadays, you can’t take anything for granted.
God loves His creation, and sent Jesus to make His creation holy, by taking away the world’s sin, and by giving the world, His own perfection. John 3:16 tells it all: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:17 then is the cherry on top: “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world, through Him, might be saved.”
Bad news abounds, but God’s news for you and for me is good news. It reminds me that the troubles of this world will one day end. One day, all wars and rumors of wars will cease. One day, God will grant me everlasting life through faith in Jesus. This is true love, “not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins (I John 4:10).”
Knowing that God is love, and that He demonstrated His love by sending Jesus into the world, compels me to love my neighbor. Love based in the love that God has for me is a love that lasts, endures, continues and deepens.
Tell someone that you love them. Tell your wife, your husband, your son, your daughter and yes, your neighbor. All love, true love, is based in God’s love for the world. Thank you for reading, “I love you.”
• The Rev. Brady E. Coleman is with Pilgrim Lutheran Church and School, 3257 E. University Drive in Mesa.