“I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” vs. 26
John 3:16 is familiar to Americans, and some even know what it says! It provides the premise behind the entire gospel of John, “For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son…”. The gospel then continues with a series of signs designed to convince readers that Jesus was that Son. At this point, near the end of the book, Jesus reveals his deepest desire, namely, that those who are his followers would take his place in the world. From this point on it will be through them that God’s unconditional, sacrificial love will be poured into this hurting world. From now on they will be Christ to all who yearn for eternal life. And sometimes that’s exactly what has happened! Millions have experienced the love of God through caring and kind encounters with those carrying the name of Jesus. Unfortunately there’s another part to the story! Crusaders flying the flag of Christ have killed millions. Some of our largest denominations have been unabashed advocates of slavery. Vile anti-semitic statements by Christian leaders provided fuel for the death camps and ovens of the Second World War. Missionaries have overseen the slaughter and persecution of indigenous people on every continent. It’s a horrible record! Some even wonder if the Church can recover from its history. Can the Spirit-filled mission of Jesus be revived and restored?
Thought for the Day: What should the Church do with its history?