“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:17
One of the first verses I learned was John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” It would be years before I realized the importance of the verse that followed it. “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:17 The writer of the gospel of John wanted us to know that Jesus was sent into the world, not for destruction, but to save the world. The world, as God claims this world, includes not only human beings but everything in it.
God’s care extends to the whole of creation. Every creature, every plant is cared for by God. Jesus referred to the lilies of the field being clothed by God, reminding us that not even a sparrow falls, without God’s loving concern. I find great comfort in knowing God’s intent in Jesus was to bring about the salvation of the world and all that is in it. We hear that yearning expressed in John Wesley’s Advent Hymn, “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus”
“Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.”
Prayer: God, you called this world into being. In the birth of Jesus you came to proclaim your love for the whole world and all of its people. May we carry that same vision in our mind and spirit as we begin our Advent journey. May we love as you love. Amen