I love the Epistle text assigned for this Sunday. It affirms for us “The Greatness of God’s Love” with emphasis! As preachers have been known to say, “it is a passage that will preach itself.” It begins with these words in I John 3:1 (NIV): See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” The powerful message needs to be emphasized today as much as it was nearly 2000 years ago by the writer, John.
The passage was written as a letter around 100 A.D. It is a loving and anxious sermon to several churches. It is not written by John the Apostle, but thought to be written by some later pastor named John. Pastor John was concerned because these second and third generation Christians were losing some of their enthusiasm and confidence. They had begun to doubt if they were capable of being Christian disciples in the midst of a pagan world.
For our community today, the loss of enthusiasm and confidence in being God children comes not from a pagan world but the Christian Church charged with making Christian disciples. Either way, Pastor John’s writing is an important message to them and to us. That message is this: REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE in the light of “THE GREATNESS OF GOD’S LOVE.”
It is so easy to allow the voices of despair, negativity, criticism, and hopelessness to overshadow and drown out the voice of hope. So the message Pastor John sends is resoundingly loud and clear: REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE! “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” Then in verse 7 he adds this: “Do not let anyone lead you astray.” It’s still a simple message but one that bears repeating over and over; for we need to hear it again and again.
Join us in worship this Sunday at Covenant. I will seek to be a voice of hope emphasizing John’s message in a sermon titled “The Greatness of God’s Love.” The scriptural text for this message will be I John 3:1-3, 7a.