for love: Lent 4b

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Welcome to scattered and sown, A weekly guided meditation based on the revised common lectionary

This episode is a meditation based on John 3:14-21 the Gospel lesson for the Fourth Sunday in Lent, year B.

Find a quiet place, where you can be undisturbed for a few moments. And, turn off the notifications on your devices.

Get in a comfortable position and close your eyes.

St. John wrote:

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. 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.

God gave his only son.

God sent his son into the world.

And why? Because God so loved the world that he wanted the world saved.

For love.

During one of St. Julian of Norwich’s visions she saw God’s hand holding something so small and brown, it looked like a nut. She came to understand that it was the whole created universe. The cosmos cradled in God’s hand.

See that nut. See it nestled in God’s palm.

Look closer at that nut, with its swirls and galaxies and stars and planets spinning around those stars.

Look closer, and amongst the billions of galaxies, find ours. The Milky Way.

Then, look closer, and amidst the hundreds of millions of stars in that galaxy, find ours. Our star, our sun.

And then, look closer, and see our green and blue and white and brown planet spinning around that sun.

Under its clouds, moving by winds blowing high above the surface, see the people. People living in cities, and in suburbs, and on islands, and on farms, and in villages, and in slums, and ghettos – see them all. With their various colored faces, and various colored hair, and various colored eyes.

See them. With all their ideas, and dreams, and creeds, and fears, and nightmares. See them in their poverty and in their riches, their righteousness and their plots and schemes, their goodness and their evil.

See the children. Some well fed. Some in school. Some in safe neighborhoods. See other children in homes where food is scarce. In countries where education is rare. In places that are unsafe, wartorn, and incubators of terror.

See the adults. Some young and energetic. Others tired and worn. Some with jobs, and homes, and cars. Others unable to find work, homeless, and stagnant. Some fulfilled in life, and others discontent, bored, or angry.

See the elderly. Some cared for, others neglected. Some with means, and others completely without means. Some weak and sick, others still vibrant.

See those who are trying to make their homes, their communities, their country, and their world a better place. See those who are compassionate and concerned about the welfare of others.

But also see those who are hardened, greedy, and concerned only with themselves.

See those who work and pray for peace, and see those who only ever seem to contribute to the violence and disruption of the world.

See all of them. Behold them.

And hear the words of Jesus once more:

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. 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.

This world, with all its places of light, and all its places of darkness is a world God loves. Adores. And which God seeks to save.

Resolve in prayer right here, now, that you will join God in God’s love of the world. And that your prayers, your words, and your deeds would join God in saving it, and saving God’s people, whoever and wherever they are.

Now, join me in praying the prayer Jesus taught us, saying, Our Father…

The Author

follower of Jesus, father of two, husband of one, Episcopal priest, with one book down, one blog up...surrounded by empty jars of nutella