A Mission of Love – Br. David Allen

DavidA_2008_031John 3:31-36

In order to understand today’s Gospel more clearly we should look back to the middle of this same Chapter 3. There we find the familiar verse: “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.” (Jn. 3:16)

We should look also to the context just before today’s Gospel reading begins.

In the verses preceding today’s reading we find the disciples of John the Baptist had asked him about Jesus, because crowds were beginning to go to Jesus.  John replied to his disciples, “I am not the Messiah, but I have been sent ahead of him. … He must increase, but I must decrease.” (v. 30)

Then, today’s Gospel reading begins with the Evangelist, the author of the Fourth Gospel, commenting on what John the Baptist had said to his disciples.  “The one who comes from above is above all.”  By this he meant that Jesus was the one who came from above, from God, and spoke of heavenly things.  And this is the testimony “that God is true.”

We can understand then that the content of today’s Gospel reading describes the mission of Jesus to bring the message of Salvation from God, who is above.

As members of Christ’s Body, the Church, it is our mission to carry that same message of Salvation into the world in which we live.  By the promises made at Baptism we have ways in which we can show our faith and belief in God and in His Church, “by word and by example”. (BCP pp. 304-305) As we believe, we have the support of Him whom God has sent who speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.” (i.e. boundlessly)  (Cf.  v. 34)

Can you, do you take heart in God’s promise of love?  The promise of eternal life in the warmth of God’s love is worth the effort beyond all imagining!

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