Scripture Reading — John 3:16-21
God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. . . . — John 3:16
Buying the right gift for someone can be a challenge at times. Receiving a gift can have its challenges too. If we don’t really like a gift, we might try to be polite and say thank-you to the giver, but later we’ll find a way to get rid of it or just put it in a closet. We might appreciate the thoughtfulness of the giver, but if we don’t really love the gift, we’re not likely to use it or value it much.
In our Bible reading today, we learn of the most precious gift God gave to the world: Jesus Christ, his one and only Son. Many people want nothing to do with this gift. They might just ignore it and think it’s a fairy tale or that it doesn’t apply to them. They might argue that if God really wanted to help us, he should have ended poverty, war, and suffering; or should have cured cancer or cleaned up the environment. Others might be polite and say they appreciate the gift, but they don’t really do anything with it.
But there are others who absolutely love the gift of Jesus. To enjoy this gift fully, we need to know and understand how Jesus is to be received. John says we must believe in him—and this means more than just agreeing with what the Bible teaches; we need to live by faith that Jesus’ coming into the world frees us from sin and changes us to live new, full life that we can enjoy forever with him (see John 6-10). May it be clear in the way we think, play, work, and love that Jesus is our most precious, appreciated gift!
Forgive me, Father, when I show apathy and a lack of faith. Thank you for giving me all I need in Jesus, your one and only Son. Amen.