Our Gospel for tomorrow is so famous that one of its verses stands alone. In fact it stands out as a verse that many people know by heart, or at least they know where to find it. Remember when we used to see banners behind first base at the ball parks with this verse on it? Or at the fifty yard line at football games? The verse itself did not appear on those banners, but the book, chapter and verse were in giant print: John 3:16
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.
The next verse, John 3:17, carries equal weight but is often overlooked. So, in order to balance things out a bit, I offer a John 3:17:
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.
Jesus gave these truths to Nicodemus, a seeker of truth who came to Jesus by night. He evidently made a special appointment with Jesus after the crowds had dispersed. For these truths Nicodemus returned the favor. He stood up for Jesus when the Sanhedrin had turned against Jesus, and he helped Joseph of Arimathea bury Jesus' lifeless body after they took it down from the cross. Nicodemus asked the right questions, and got the right answers.
The Rev. Linda McCloud
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek