“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish, but have eternal life.”This is a message of great joy! Fitting for this Rejoice Sunday, this Laetare Sunday, Rejoice Sunday that we do celebrate and rejoice - a God who loves us so much that he sacrificed is only Son – to save us from our sins against Him - to bring us into heaven to be with him for all time.
This is the Good News we are called to share with the whole world. By our life, - we are to live our Christian lives; reminding everyone of God’s unsurpassable love for us. As disciples of His Only Son, we all are His heralds of the Good News of Jesus, the Christ – called to share His Light with all the world.
This message of Good News comes with a warning too. It is a message that speaks of consequences. It tells us that our loving God is also a demanding God.
We are warned - that if we do not believe in the Christ, - we will not share in God’s love, or live His peace or grace, - but we will suffer death, and eternal damnation – cast into darkness where no Light exists - forever and ever.
For John, this world was a place filled with darkness. It was a dismal place – a world:
- Without hope -
- without peace -
- without justice -
- without love –
- without salvation –
- a place without the Light -
It is a world where only the Light of Christ can dispel the darkness.
The children of the master of this world, the evil-one, love the darkness:
- Darkness hides their corruptions,
- In darkness they worship evils,
- In darkness they plan their deceptions,
- In the dark their hatreds fester and grow,
- Darkness breeds their selfish desires
- In Darkness base cravings are satisfied
- Darkness is where sin flourishes and thrives
Where sin speaks to the sinner; justifying their evil deeds and destructions.
John wants all followers of Christ to leave this dark world behind – He wishes us to live in a world filled with light, - the Light of Christ – to live as reflections of the Light of Christ
- Light overcoming darkness, -
- The Light of peace,
- The Light of justice,
- Light conquering sin
- God’s Light of eternal love –
The Light of Christ - leading us to salvation and Eternal Life
Just as Moses lifted up the serpent, so all those who were bitten could look up, - see- and believe in the power of God – so they may live, -- so too for us - is Christ lifted up on the cross, - so we too may see, - believe and have Eternal Life.
The Lenten season of reflection and repentance is a season filled with expectation and hope. We look to the future and the glory of God in the Light of Christ. We disciples know that on Easter Sunday Jesus overcomes death, - triumphs over sin, - Rising up to New Life; bringing His Light into the world – bringing salvation and Eternal Life to all who believe in Him.
We know that the stone is rolled away from the mouth of the tomb and the burial clothe is found empty.
- We know that He is raised up on the third day.
- We know Jesus sends us the Advocate to be among us
- We know all this comes to pass and it is the Truth.
Jesus was lifted up on the Cross for all to see – so we may believe – and be delivered out of the darkness to become children of the Light.
As we approach Easter, let us look up to Jesus on the Cross and - be lifted up in God’s grace of love and mercy; turning away from sin, and darkness to live in His Light
Let us see our Savior on the Cross and - be lifted up in the joy of His Resurrection; proclaiming the Good News of Salvation to all the world
Let us encounter Christ on the Cross and - be lifted up by the Glory of God – A God - who in His great love for his children, sent His only Son to save us; giving us Eternal Life with Him forever ~Amen