the RAVEN FOUNDATION

“For God So Loved The World”: Why This Is Good News For EVERYONE

Love is at work within all of us, transforming our world of violence and exclusion into the Beloved Community.

S2:E13 EPISODE SUMMARY

“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.”

Have you ever heard these words recited faithfully, reverently, as if they are supposed to be the most comforting words anyone could ever hear… and felt scared and isolated instead?

This is perhaps the most famous verse of Christian scripture, and it is meant to be good news. But good news can only be good if it is good for everyone. And far too often, this verse hasn’t been interpreted that way.

When read through a lens of exclusion, it sounds as if those who cannot believe certain things about Jesus — and by extension, God, the Bible, Christianity, the Trinity, etc… — are doomed.

But that lens of exclusion and condemnation, that fear-based and frightening understanding of the world that leads to violence and over-againstness… this is exactly what Jesus comes to save the entire world from.

For God so loved the world that God came among us as a human being, to love us and model a life of service and compassion. When we trust in that love, and live in love and service to one another, death has no power over us, for love is stronger than death.

It is the faith of Jesus, the faith of God embodied, that catalyzes our ability to live into the trust and vulnerability that it takes to live for one another, rather than to live for ourselves over and against one another. Love has faith in us, and love enables to care for one another. And that is how we live into abundant, eternal life. 

God’s love is unconditional, universal, and good news for everyone. Whatever spiritual language we may speak, whether or not we even believe in God at all, Love is at work within all of us, transforming our world of violence and exclusion into the Beloved Community.

The Olive
Branch

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