‘God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.' John 3:16 Click To Tweet
Our third Weekly Focus, based on our Lent course in partnership with Hope, explores how love is at the heart of the Jesus story. In Mark 9:7, God’s voice from heaven is heard saying: ‘This is my Son, and I love him. Listen to him!’ and in John 3:16 we read: ‘God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.’ Jesus also promises to love us. He said, ‘Anyone who has my commands and obeys them loves me. My Father will love the one who loves me. I too will love them. And I will show myself to them’ (John 14:21). This week, think about how God shows his love to people. How does God show his love and care to you, and to others through you?
‘Even though your sins are bright red, they will be as white as snow. Even though they are deep red, they will be white like wool.' ISAIAH 1:18 Click To Tweet
This prayer was written by King David after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba, then arranged for Bathsheba’s husband to be killed:
‘Wash me, then I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear you say, “Your sins are forgiven.”
That will bring me joy and gladness.
Let the body you have broken be glad.
Take away all my sins.
Wipe away all the evil things I’ve done.’ (Psalm 51:7–9)
‘Again Jesus called the crowd to him. He said, “Listen to me, everyone. Understand this. Nothing outside of a person can make them ‘unclean’ by going into them. It is what comes out of them that makes them ‘unclean’. Evil thoughts come from the inside, from a person’s heart.
So do sexual sins, stealing and murder. Adultery, greed, hate and cheating come from a person’s heart too. So do desires that are not pure, and wanting what belongs to others. And so do telling lies about others and being proud and being foolish. All these evil things come from inside a person and make them ‘unclean.’”’
Someone once wrote to the Christian Enquiry Agency asking what meat Christians can eat. Jesus’ words in today’s reading are good news for meat-eaters! It’s what we do that puts a barrier between us and God, not what we eat. The good news is, Jesus’ death on the cross destroyed the barrier. If we ask, Jesus can forgive all the wrong we’ve ever done and make us clean.