Today’s Gospel lesson includes one of the best known, most loved verses of the New Testament. If you ever wanted a “sound bite” that stated what most Christians believed this would be it. It is a straightforward expression of God’s love for the world and promise of eternal life. But in isolating just John 3:16 from this passage, we tend to forget the bigger picture- the context from which this passage comes. First, this whole conversation takes place because a Pharisee named Nicodemus wants to hash out some ideas with Jesus. The conversation takes place because Nicodemus wants to learn more about Jesus and thus, more about the self-giving love of God for us. The conversation will then goes on to talk about deeds- and this is because when we hear of that famous line, “For God so love the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life” it is meant to be a challenge- for God so loved the world- and now it’s your turn. How do we respond to this declaration? In some ways this is how we can look at our lenten project, a time of year when we not only reflect and repent and pray but this congregation reaches out to help in love. And that not only includes directing funds but having conversations. It has been my privilege to have conversations with members of the two organizations we are supporting through our lenten project this year.
Today it is my pleasure to welcome Lindsay Jamieson-Powell, Program Director from the Comox Valley Head Injury Society. This is one of two community organizations that we are supporting this year as part of our Lenten project. This is in part because a former member, Gordon Johnson, was heavily involved in this society and had a deep passion for the people that were served through it. We wanted to honour Gordon’s memory by supporting them.