Scripture: John 3:16-21
Key verse: (21) But 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.”
Reflection: “John 3:16” –– can be seen plastered around town (at least in the South) on billboards, beautifully drawn in sharpie on journals or posters, and even colorfully displayed as graffiti on bridges and freight cars. This verse is one the most well-known and quoted verses of the bible. God gave Jesus, the Son, so that you can have eternal life. All you have to do is believe. Simple. Well, maybe not.
God’s grace is for us all, and God’s love is for us all. But as you keep reading through this passage, we are being asked to do much more than believe. Jesus is asking for exposure.
When a journalist writes an expose’, secrets are revealed; this may lead to condemnation or judgement. We hide things, conceal our faults from others, for we fear that exposing all that we are may not be enough or accepted. Exposure is scary. Exposure is uncomfortable. When we are exposed, some may feel shame or embarrassment. You might be revealing flaws or insecurities. Exposure tends to be viewed negatively due to the shame associated with it.
I wonder what Jesus is saying to us here. Is it a warning that in “coming to the light” we will be found out as a fraud or a fake; or worst, not accepted because of who we are? I wonder how uncomfortable this may be, to reveal our whole self, flaws and faults included.
In asking for exposure, I hear a calling to feel God’s unconditional love and forgiveness. We are being asked to take off our masks, reveal who we are, and come to know that it is enough in the eyes of God. God’s love is deeper than our flaws. God’s forgiveness is bigger than our faults and insecurities.
Imagine how freeing it may feel if we reveal our whole self to God. I wonder how much trust it takes to show God our true self. Jesus is asking you to step into the light, be exposed, and know that you are loved still.
Prayer: You gave your Son so that I may have life, O God. Yet, I confess I hide in the darkness. Forgive me. I fear not being loved because … silent personal prayer. Guide me back to the light and remind me how to live as a child of the light. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Amen.
Author: Ben Brannan
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].