So yesterday the kids and I were sitting around the TV watching a show called Brain Games (it’s on Disney+, it’s pretty interesting if you like brain stuff), and they flashed a scene shot from what looked like Times Square in New York (or at least it looked like Time Square, it could have all be CGI for all I could tell). Then our second son said, “Hey, isn’t that where Captain America met Nick Fury at the end of the First Avenger?” (incidentally, Captain America: The First Avenger is also on Disney+)
I have to say, it was one of my proudest moments. That he saw the background of a scene (so not like the main foreground) and remembered how he saw it before and recognised it from a relatively old MCU movie (The First Avenger first released in 2011, so a year before he was even born… whoa suddenly I feel old), which from my recollection he’s only seen once or twice, tops. He was able to see the small details and appreciate them, and then comprehend them from another experience that he’s had with it.
I mean, I recognized the background, but I didn’t tie it into anything other than it being the background of the particular show we were watching at that moment in time. He saw it with fresh eyes and in a way was more meaningful for him (as he loves the Marvel movies as well).
Funny though, how when something becomes so familiar, it could lose its hold on our attention and even our care, and it maybe just sort of blend in with the background.
Speaking of familiar, here is a very familiar verse in this gospel lesson. John 3:16 is probably the most recognized passage throughout our history (even more than Matthew 21:17…), and perhaps for good reason. But I wonder if we even realise what that reason is anymore.
We can all recite John 3:16 pretty much, and we often will say that we totally know what it means. But I wonder how much this has affected our theology and perception, if at all. ” For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” has become sort of the anthem of our faith, but I wonder how much we even look at what it is saying. Has this passage but faded into the background of our minds?
Notice how the verse doesn’t talk about Jesus having to die to save us. Notice how it doesn’t say that we must obey a bunch of rules to be saved. Notice how it is completely silent on how we need to earn eternal life.
Looking at this with fresh eyes, all I really see is it telling us how God loves all of creation enough to provide a means through which we can have a better life. I see how it is saying that God loves everyone so much to give. I see how it basically reveals that God loves us all.
It is that simple. And it is that profound. That such a powerful God would choose to love us for who we are and where we are. Not because we earned it or can do anything to deserve it, but because God just loves.
Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!