A Gift for the World – Week of March 6, 2023

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
John 3:16-17

There is a classic children’s picture book by Margaret Wise Brown called, *The Runaway Bunny. In the story, the little bunny tells his mother he wants to run away. Like any mother, she tells him she would run after him. His response? He will become a fish to escape. She responds that she will become a fisherman and catch him. The story goes on with the little bunny describing himself turning into a rock, a crocus hidden in the garden, a bird, a sailboat and on and on. Each time the mother responds with the lengths she will go to for her son. In the end, he concedes and finds himself snug in her care.

We are often like that little bunny in our relationship with our heavenly Father. We work so hard at doing things on our own. We constantly strive for what we want or even what we think we need. Challenges come and we address them with attempt after attempt at solving them on our own. We struggle with our disappoint over things in our life and especially over our own sin. Our wants often supersede what we truly need—God’s redeeming grace. It’s good to work hard at life, but not without also depending on God’s power and promises.

Today’s Bible verse is one that is known all over the world. You see it referenced on signs at a sporting event or on bumper stickers. It can become so familiar that we can miss the amazing message. “For God so loved the world….” God loved the world so much. Think about that. We don’t really have a lovable world. The evidence of sin is not hard to see all around us. When we reflect on ourselves, the perfection that God demands of us is nowhere to be seen. We can hardly put a foot on the floor in the morning without sin rearing its ugly head. And yet… God “gave his one and only son.” Why? A love that is beyond our comprehension. A love that makes no earthly sense. A love that is utterly undeserved and yet fully and freely given. God’s amazing love for his creation, for us. His love that sent his son, Jesus, “to save the world through him.” This is the message of John 3:16. God’s incomparable love to save those who can never save themselves from the grip and consequences of sin.

The mother bunny was relentless in her love for her little one. The love of parents for their children can be exceptional. None of this compares with God’s love for you, for me, for all. His love that sent Jesus because he wants us to believe in him, to trust in him, to know that he is all we need. His desire is for us to be with him at home in heaven. God so loved the world. God so loved you.

Dear heavenly Father, there is so much that I think I need or want. Remind me that my greatest need was met by you when you sent Jesus as my Savior. Forgive me when I stray and keep me always close to you. It’s in your name I pray. Amen

A Hymn to Consider: For further meditation on John 3:16, reflect on the following hymn.
How Deep the Father’s Love for Us
Christian Worship 21 523

*Brown, M W (1942). The runaway bunny. Harper & Row Publishers, Inc. New York, NY.

Early Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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