The Familiarity of Belief (#LentVoices - John 3:14-21)



This passage holds a verse so well-known, John 3:16 -printed on billboards, flags at a football match, the key to belief and yet perhaps it has become too familiar.


I read my daughter the story of a little duck, the smallest who is afraid to swim. “I can’t, I can’t, I’m too little” eventually he does and he swims. The belief to overcome the voices of what he couldn’t, the physical restrictions, the comparisons, enabled him to do it.


As we read the words of John 3:16 we no longer hold the beauty of the challenge, the dare and the risk. We can personalise it, sing it, pray it but what is belief? What is it about Jesus that we believe in? Today as many celebrate St Patrick’s day, it is a marker of commemorating a life that did not live in the comfortable. When he had found freedom he went back to the place of greatest pain to share about this incredible God he believed in. His feelings did not keep him in comfort or easy choices but took him beyond the nest and onto the choppy waters.


St Patrick’s prayer reminds us of a God who is all around us -if you pause and listen what do you hear, perhaps take off your shoes and socks and stand barefoot on the ground remembering all that is happening beneath you. The familiarity of the sky and birdsong, the cool or rough of the ground no longer become just a part of the world but become noticed. In that pause common becomes uncommon. As we pause and take a look at these words again what does it mean to you, what do you believe in?

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