Faith Daily | 14 April 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - EASTER TWO
whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life
of all who put their trust in him:
raise us, we pray, from the death of sin
to the life of righteousness;
that we may ever seek the things which are above,
where he reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: John 3: 16-21
16“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. 17“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. 18Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Rev'd Graham
Paul Tillich, a well-known theologian, has been quoted as stating, “You can’t love another person until you love yourself and you can’t love yourself until you accept that God loves you.” In his book Reasons of the Heart, Bruce Wilson goes further with this thought when he says, ”We cannot love another unless we are at peace with ourselves.” He also says, “If we lack self-love, we seek worth in others’ eyes by being bullies or doormats.” I know how true these words have been at various parts of my life.
When I read the passage for today, I wondered if this could possibly be one of the salient points that Jesus was making when John says that “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 in Christ, through the words and actions of Jesus wanted people to see the desirable way to behave towards each other as a result of knowing God’s love for them. And this still applies just as much to us today as it did then.
The darkness of our not knowing God’s love for each of us can be a result of differing causes – grief, self-inflicted, trauma, poor health or other factors. Whatever it might be, it can result in our not showing or offering love to others. However, one factor which cannot be ignored, and one which Jesus knew well, is the desire to hold on to power, to be bullies. Jimi Hendrix once said, “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” This applies not only on a major scale, but also in our personal relationships. Holding on to and using power, being bullies, can be seen in so many ways, both overtly and covertly. Could peace be attained if we affirmed the thought that, “An enemy is a friend whose story we have not yet heard.”?
May each of us as far as is possible constantly live in the light, “so that it may be clearly seen that our deeds have been done in God.” In this, by knowing God’s love and by showing God’s love, each of can be an agent who reveals God to others, and help them to know that the light which shines for them is theirs for the asking.
FINAL PRAYER: TIS 675
Lord, the light of your love is shining,
in the midst of the darkness, shining;
Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us,
set us free by the truth you now bring us –
shine on me, shine on me.
Shine, Jesus, shine!