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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.
John 3:16-17

Some wag has observed that regardless of what Columbus proved, the world is flat the day after Christmas. The anticipation and excitement of the last several weeks feels gone. In England and much of the Commonwealth today is called Boxing Day. In some European countries it is called the Second Day of Christmas. But I think that today is a day for pondering and rejoicing in the incredible good news of our Scripture text: “that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son.” Here all the longings of the prophets and the angels’ songs are brought together. Here is reason for celebration today, and forever.

Ponder in our text the significance and weight of the little, two-letter word “so”, that God so loved the world. It’s such a little word, easy to rush past. Yet the word so holds so much meaning for us today. The word so expresses great feeling and intensity as when we say, “I so love the gift you gave me”, or, “I love you so much!” It’s big little word that conveys, well, so much.

What a difference it makes for you and me that God so loved the world. It’s not just that God loved, but that God so loved. Imagine the depth, the boundless, passionate love of God for you and me!

And it’s not that God so loved all the good people, or so loved His church, but that God so loved the world. God so loved the people that don’t even believe in Him or give Him any thought on His Son’s birthday. Here is good news for all. It is just as the angel said on that first Christmas night: “Here is good news of great joy which shall be for all people.” Here is good news for everyone up and down our streets.

Today’s text reminds that God did not send His Son to condemn the world, or cause us to shrink back in fear. It says that God sent His Son into the world “that the world might be saved through Him.

By today the gifts have probably all been opened, and the dumpsters overflowing with Christmas wrappings and boxes. But for some the true and greatest gift of Christmas has yet to be received. That is, God’s gift to us of His Son, Christ Jesus: “…so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but have eternal life.

Here is a gift that cannot be bought in the store, a gift that could never be earned or deserved. It can only be received. And it is the gift of God’s Son, who brings eternal life and joy!

But to all who received Him, who believed in His name, he gave power to become children of God.
John 1:12

Grace and peace!

photo by fillingthev0id

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