This morning’s gospel includes the ubiquitous citation JN 3:16, seen in the stands of football games and other widely televised events. We know chapter and verse but sometimes not the text itself. It begins, “God so loved the world that he gave his only son…” I often wish that the signs would include verse 17 which says, “God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world…” I use ellipses here for each of the verses to emphasize not only the gift but a part of God’s intention in giving the gift that is sometimes forgotten by those who use this passage as a proof text for exclusion rather than a reminder that salvation is open to all. Who is saved and who is not? Read on:
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives in truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God. (JN 3:20-21)
God is definitely bigger than our judgments; those who are schooled in living the truth are aware of that. The psalmist has a great line in Psalm 34 today that is good advice and encouragement for anyone trying to live a life of integrity. It says, “Look to God that you may be radiant with joy, and your faces may not blush with shame.” Eye to eye with God, we have the confidence of someone who knows us through and through and loves us totally no matter what. That’s a truth I can believe in – for myself and everyone else!