Sunday, March 18, 2012

John 3:16

Tim Tebow, quarterback of the Denver Broncos
Occasionally at various sports events, you might notice a fan holding a sign that says “John 3:16" or any other biblical quote. You may see them behind goal posts in a soccer match, on the green during a golf tournament and at the end zone during a football game. Recently we noticed Tim Tebow, the Denver Broncos quarterback writing the quote under his eyes, on that black smudge they smear to protect them against the sun (see photo above.) Now you have to realize that these placards are not displayed just for fun, just as one would hold a sign saying “Go Bulldogs,” or “Will you marry me, Peggy Sue?” The story behind these signs goes back to a certain Christian millionaire who buys expensive seats in sports events and then asks a fan to sit there and simply raise the placard when he thinks the camera is rolling at a certain moment of that particular game. 

I’m pretty sure that many people go looking for their bible to check that particular quote, as I personally have done when other quotes appear. But John 3:16 is the most popular one because it crystallizes in a nutshell the gist of our faith, the scope of Christianity, a sentence that describes why our religion is so rich, rewarding and uplifting. This quote is the basis of the liturgical readings for this 4th Sunday of Lent, as Jesus is speaking to Nicodemus, and then the evangelist St John makes this remarkable statement...”God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish, but might have eternal life.” Jesus is truly presented as our life-line to heaven, the means by which we can attain eternal happiness.

From the “Imitation of Christ” by Tomas a Kempis: Let not your heart be troubled, and let it not be afraid. Believe in me and trust in my mercy. When you think I am far from you, I am often the nearest to you. When you judge that almost all is lost, that’s when you are on the way to gain the greatest merit. Come to me Lord, poor and little as I am, and bring me joy. Stretch out your hand, and deliver me from all the pain and anguish. Come Lord, come, for without you my soul is barren and empty. Come Lord, for without you no day or hour is happy. Without you my table is without its guest, for you alone are my joy.

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