'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. 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. Those who believe in him are not condemned.'
(New Revised Standard Version)
These words from St John's Gospel resonate with me for two particular reasons. They are the words of a very well known anthem by John Stainer - the chorus comes in the middle of his work 'The Crucifixion'. It is one of those pieces of music that gives chills down your back, as it were, and I have always looked forward to singing it during Lent. Sadly the choir at St James' Church, Manorbier, has not been big enough to sing it recently. But it's always worth putting it into your search engine and hearing it again on YouTube.
But a second reason is that I always use these words from Chapter 3, verse 16 at funerals: "God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life." There is nothing more comforting and more affirming than these words for a Christian. God loves us, and His plans for us, include eternal life!
You have called us to be Your children.
You love us and care for us
as a parent cares for their children.
Comfort and sustain us
at this difficult time,
and help us to bear our burden
faithfully as did your Son Jesus Christ.