Prayer: Dear God, help us to hear your words of grace louder than the noise of world. Amen
Reading: John 3: 14-21 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: We all know John 3: 16. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. So ingrained that I could not type out the NIV version but reverted to old-time language. So well known that simply 3: 16 on a handmade sign at a sporting event or on a billboard by the road will bring the familiar verse to mind to many.
So let's move on to the next verse: John 3: 17. It's a continuation of the same idea but perhaps less known unless your Sunday School teacher was more ambitious with memory verses. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
There are so many condemning voices in the world. So many messages of doom and gloom come at us all the time. And oh it is so easy for us to spread or own criticizing and despairing thoughts. Not to mention the negative self-talk that can go on and on in our own heads! Condemnation.
Quiet all those voices within and without. Repeat these verses over and over. Hear a message of love, giving, believing and everlasting life. Good thing we know these by heart! --Ruth Gates, Camp Mount Luther Family Camper
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