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Lent 4B

Sunday, March 22, 2009
Gospel: John 3: 14-21
For God So Loved the World...

Highlighted Verses: John 3: 14-21

Jesus Cleanses a Leper

And 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. 19And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”

Today I thought we'd talk a little about love.

That's a word we use a lot - but what does it really mean? What are you saying when you tell someone that you love them?
(Solicit children's answers.)

Those are all great examples of love.

When you love someone - truly love them - it means that you care so deeply about them that you'd do anything for them.  Love is a very powerful thing.

This week's Gospel lesson contains what might be the most famous verse in the entire Bible. You might have seen its name - John 3:16 - written on signs (sometimes at football games) or bumper stickers.

The reason it's so famous is that it sort of tells the story of the Gospels in only one sentence. There's a name for that - we call it a summary.

And John 3:16 is all about love - God's love for us. It tells about how God showed us his love by giving us his only son. That's a lot of love, isn't it?

I thought because it's so short  - and important - that maybe we could recite it together. Would you say it with me?

(Children repeat verse...Note, the verse cited below is from the NRSV translation. Modify to your own translation as appropriate.)

For God so loved the world...
That he gave his only Son...
So that everyone who believes in him...
May not perish, but have eternal life.

Good job. That's a verse you might want to practice this week. See if you can memorize it!

Can we pray?

Dear God,

Thank you for the love you show us each day.


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