The Daily Office | March 1, 2018
Psalms 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Psalms 6, 7, 8
Collect: The Second Sunday in Lent
Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
In our gospel passage for today we have what is perhaps the most famous verse of Scripture: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This passage has become so famous because it reveals to us the radical nature of God’s love. We are a people who rejected God and became his enemies (Romans 5:10). By rejecting the Author of Life, we deserved death, yet God loved us too much to let us perish. Even though we were His enemies, God sent his only Son to die in our place. He didn’t send His Son in anger to condemn us, as we might expect, but rather in love to save us.
This is how much God loves you. God chose to spare your life at the expense of His own. God does not expect you to earn this love, or prove that you are worthy of it. He knows that you are not. God knows your weaknesses, your brokenness, your sinful thoughts, desires, and actions, and He loves you even still! You cannot escape His love.
Although we are tempted to feel anxious in our relationship with God, we are His Beloved. We don’t have to live in fear, wondering if we are “enough.” Instead, through God’s love we are freed to love both Him and others more fully. Throughout this season of Lent, I would challenge you to think of the people in your life who need to experience this love. How can you show them this radical love of God?