“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
John 3:17 (NIV)
I’m at the train station 45 minutes early. That’s no problem – I had built a lot of slack in my timetable, just in case all my connections went wrong. I settle down with a good book and a cup of tea while I wait.
Then the announcements begin. I hear about the bus replacement service to Nottingham – twice. There are warnings about a reduced service on East Midland Trains. Then I am given sober statements about suspicious baggage. It starts to get irritating. Something about the multiple interruptions from an over-loud tannoy is getting on my nerves. Then there are apologies for a staff shortage – given by various voices. “Really?” I think. “Stop doing all those announcements and you might have available staff!”
Ah – this is life isn’t it! There I am, just wanting a quiet journey and the world crowds in. And as another announcement begins – thankfully, this time it is actually for an arriving train! – a thought comes to mind. Of course the world crowds in. For this is where Jesus wants us to be. “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” (John 17:15)
Jesus continues his prayer to our Father with his desire for us: “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.”(John 17:18). The world is a frustrating, distracting and often painful place. That’s why Jesus was sent – to bring salvation to us all, to bring us back to the peace, joy and love of God. Our role is to let our lives reflect Jesus’ love for us all, as we continue to dwell in a world full of troubles.
We know the scripture – that famous one – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…” (John 3:16). That tannoy is still irritating. But it reminds me of our need and God’s love. The tannoy sounds again – it’s my train!
This lesson of life is over – or is it? As the train sets off, the tannoy begins with a full set of announcements, with a number of apologies…there will always be reminders of the world’s desperate need to know about God’s love.
Father, you have sent us into the world to reflect the wonderful salvation that is available to all – through Jesus. Please protect us from the ways of the evil one; enable us to destroy his works through the love of our Saviour Jesus.
Study by Ian Woodley, published on Day By Day: