Dear Friends
John 3:  14 – 18
Jesus said to Nicodemus: 14‘Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.  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.  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. 18Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
We have a very posh toaster.  I love it, old luddite that I am, because it runs on clockwork rather than a computer chip generated timer.  I love it because it has a mechanical lever to push the toast out of the slot rather than an electrical pop up mechanism.  I love it because it has a dent in the side where one of our children (who shall remain nameless) hit it with a stick.  But mainly I love it because it is built to be repaired rather than thrown away.  It has history and tells a story and that story will be remembered because the dent will still be there in ten years time!  In the days of £10 toasters, that seems to be quite unusual, and I think that’s a shame.
The whole character of the Christian God whom we worship is based around love.  God so loved the world.  The love of God the Father for his Son Jesus .  The love of God the Father for his created world.  And the love of Jesus, for the people amongst whom he lived, and the world at which he was present when it was created.  The whole character of the Chrisitan is to respond to this love as best we can.  And love is not simply disposable like a £10 toaster.  Instead love absorbs the sticks and stones of daily life.  Llove repairs relationships and hangs on in there when it gets no response.
And that’s why God sent his Son into the world, not to dispose of the bits which weren’t working very well, because if he had, there would be nothing left, but in order that the world, the whole world, might be saved through him. 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.  In an infinitely more trivial way, I purchased the toaster so that it might be repaired when necessary.  But I bought it as a toaster.  When it is repaired, I will still use it as a toaster rather than as a hot water bottle because it would be rather dangerous as a hot water bottle.  And if it is repaired I want to use it rather than leave it on the kitchen surface and just admire it from afar.  In the same way God saves us through the power of his love in Jesus Christ so we can fulfill our purpose by givinghim glory .  That’s our purpose.  He did not save us so we can just take life easy, do what we want and get what we want.
And that’s the crux of the matter.  If the world is going to be saved through the love of Jesus, it presumably means it is not going to wear out.  It is to be restored and last forever.  The purpose of the world is to reflect the glory of God.  And that seems to have an implication for people like you and me who, just by being part of Western society, are involved in the destruction of the world by the way we ravage its resources,  Can God save me, give me an easy time, and allow me to continue the way of life I am living at the moment if he is also going to save the world at the same time?  I think not.  It leads to a contradiction.  And believing in Jesus is an acknowledgement of that contradiction so he can begin to work on our lives as well as the salvation of the world.  That seems to me to be looking like the beginnings of eternal life.  And it can happen now because we believe.  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.
Tomorrow we’ll look at how that might work with relation to the pandemic.  But for the moment … what part of your life can you see Jesus’ love working upon at the moment and how is he prodding you to change it?
The prayer of St Richard of Chichester.
Thanks be to thee, my Lord Jesus Christ
For all the benefits you have given me,
For all the pains and insults you have borne for me.
O most merciful Redeemer, friend and brother,
May I know You more clearly,
Love You more dearly,
Follow You more nearly
Day by day.  Amen.
Enjoy singing along with the hymn ‘In Christ alone’
If you would like to join us for Evening Prayer tomorrow (Monday) it is at 5pm
The link is:
Topic: Zoom Evening Prayer on Monday
Time: Jul 6, 2020 05:00 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 825 5908 3123
Password: 213028
The times for Evening Prayer for the rest of the week are as follows:
Tuesday 4.30pm
Thursday 4.30pm
Sunday worship to be confirmed later in the week but Evening Prayer will be at 6pm on Zoom.
Every blessing