Sunday Stride – For God so loved the world…

“For God so loved the world…”

Yesterday, as I was reading my oldest son a Ronald Dahl book, he stopped me to say he would easily be able to figure out the mess happening in the book. “Oh yea,” I asked him. “Why’s that?” He paused thoughtfully and then replied “Because I’m pretty smart. And I’m really good with ideas.”

I smiled broadly and hugged him tight and then went on with the book secretly so proud of him in that moment. I loved hearing him own what he’s good at and say it aloud. He stopped me one more time as I began the page and said “Oh and I’m excellent with animals too!”

In today’s Gospel we hear one of the most important lines in the New Testament, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son.” This morning as I sat and reflected on today’s readings, this line but more specifically the first phrase in the line struck me: “For God so loved the world.” I started thinking about what else God has done for the world out of love and what we can do to love God in return. Here’s a few that came to mind:

For God so loved the world, that God gave unique and wonderful talents to each one of us. May we love God back by owning those talents confidently and living in them.

For God so loved the world, that God created each and every human being to be unique so that the world may benefit from a wide range of ideas and input. May we love God back by allowing our lives to be enriched by the experiences and ideas that are different than our own.

For God so loved the world, that God graced us with signs of hope after a crippling pandemic. May we love God back by leaning into the hope instead of the lingering fear and spreading that hope to others.

For God so loved the world, that God made beautiful children who all have special and unique needs and special and unique gifts to share. May we love God back by giving of our time and talents to make sure they always know they are loved.

How would you end this line today? “For God so loved the world…”

Or even better, how would you end this line today? “For God so loved me…”

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