God So Loved

In “Star Wars, the Phantom Menace,” a Jedi knight believed the young Anakin Skywalker fulfilled an old prophesy. The young boy would balance the dark and light sides of the Force. The Jedi knight only came to this conclusion after a test of the boy’s sub-molecular structure which came back positive. The knight, in this case, based his belief upon science.

globeChristians base their faith not so much on the facts, but in a trust relationship with Jesus of Nazareth. Trust of a person, not knowledge of the facts or obedience demanded by duty, defines the Christian life. In John’s gospel, Jesus revealed trust as the key to eternal life.

We can find these famous lines in John 3, where John set God’s messenger (Jesus) against a teacher of the Law (Nicodemus). In John’s mind, Jesus spoke for the Christian audience the evangelist addressed. Nicodemus represented opposing Jewish communities lead by Pharisees. By the time John’s gospel first appeared in a complete form (100-115 A.D.), Christians not only professed a new Messiah; they proclaimed a new spirituality. God created a new, spiritual relationship with all people (not just Jews). And this new relationship bypassed the Jewish Law. No wonder the Law-keeping Pharisees (represented by Nicodemus) didn’t understand!

For those who believe, our triune God dwells within us by grace and communion, drawing us into the inner life of the Trinity. The unceasing Life of the Trinity is this: to love us into eternal Life! This love calls us to love others without reserve, to draw near to the other, to give ourselves graciously for the well-being of others. Love begets love.