A reading for Thursday, February 26, 2015: John 3:16-21.

“For God so loved the world..." in Greek, the word translated as world is kosmon. It is the root from which we get the english word cosmos. It's a big word in John's gospel, the place it appears the most in the New Testament. The writer of John uses it 57 times, out of a total of 187 times the word is used in all of the New Testament. Clearly John is saying something to us using this word so many times.

God did not just love Christians, or Muslims, or Buddhists. God did not just love Protestants, or Catholics, or Greek Orthodox, or Ethiopian Coptic. God did not love just Americans, or just Guatemalans, or just Italians, or any other nationality. God did not just love Presbyterians, or Methodists, or Baptists.

God so loved the world, the universe, all of creation. That's the reason God sent Jesus, to love the universe of creation, so that all of creation could be saved from destruction and annihilation. J.B. Phillips wrote a book published in 1961 entitled, "Your God is Too Small" in which he argued that the problem many in our age face is that we have not found a God large enough to deal with all the complexity and diversity we live among each day. Our ideas about God are far too small.

John 3:16 is often seen by many as the simplest expression of the gospel. Perhaps it is. We see it on posters at football games and bumper stickers next to the Christians fish.

However, it also might be that John 3:16 is the most complex and vast expression of the comprehensiveness of God's love for all of creation. It's bigger than anything we can imagine.

"For God so love the Cosmos..."

Thanks be to God.


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