1 John 3:1-7 (NRSV)
Chapter 3See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Verse 2Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. Verse 3And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
Verse 4Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. Verse 5You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. Verse 6No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. Verse 7Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.
Behold the love that God has given us, the writer here invites—the same self-sacrificing love that is at the center of the message of John 3:16. We are God’s children and God loves us with a fierce and protective love—a hope-filled love longing to see us become what has not yet been revealed, a nurturing, caring love that will never give up on us.
Some of us may have experienced a broken parent-child relationship. We may wonder if this love spoken of today is real and reliable. We push one another away or act out our distrust in the abiding love of God. But just as Jesus’ parable in Luke 15 shows us the loving father running to greet his returning son who has squandered his inheritance, God abides with us even when we have our tantrums and our moods and our wanderings away from safety. Behold the love that God has given you. Behold the love of God that longs to greet you today.
Abiding God, help us to abide in you. Amen.