For God So Loved The World…

God So Loved the World

God So Loved the World

I have begun a new series of sonnets reflecting on the teachings of Jesus which will, I hope, eventually become a new poetry book to be called Parable and Paradox. As we begin this new year I thought I would share some of these with you as ‘work in progress’. As we have just celebrated the supreme gift of God, his own self given to us in the loving gift of his Son, I thought I would start with this little sonnet reflecting on the mystery of those famous verses, John 3:16-17:

John 3:16-17

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

The Greek in John 3:16 is glorious, and as I allude to it in the poem, I cannot forbear to share it with you too:

16 ουτως γαρ ηγαπησεν ο θεος τον κοσμον ωστε τον υιον τον μονογενη εδωκεν ινα πας ο πιστευων εις αυτον μη αποληται αλλ εχη ζωην αιωνιον

The Word for ‘Loved’ in that verse is ‘egapesen’ that means ‘Agape’ Love, the highest and fullest and most selfless love, but best of all the word for ‘The World’ is ‘Ton Cosmon‘ -the whole cosmos!

We sometimes make his love, and the object of his love too small! We diminish and dwindle it down to some small time religious patter about the way we feel. In this sonnet I am trying to be open again to the literally Cosmic dimensions of John 3:16!

As Always you can hear me read the poem by clicking on the title or the ‘play’ button

For God So loved the world


The whole round world, in Greek the total cosmos,

Is all encompassed in this loving word;

Not just the righteous, right on, and religious,

But every one of whom you’ve ever heard,

And all the throng you don’t know or ignore,

For everyone is precious in his sight,

Chosen and cherished, loved, redeemed before

The circling cosmos ever saw the light.


He set us in the world that we might flourish

That His beloved world might live through us

We chose instead that all of this should perish

And turned his every blessing to a curse.

And now he gives himself, as Life and Light

That we might choose in Him to set things right.

 in Greek the total cosmos

in Greek the total cosmos




Filed under christianity, literature

14 responses to “For God So Loved The World…

  1. This is wonderful, Malcolm!

  2. Zoe Myers

    Thank you – what wonderful providence that you posted this today as we read of the hatred in France & elsewhere. I needed this reminder.

  3. Pam Thorn

    Really great, have passed it on to Trevor, languishing in hospital

  4. Another inspired post Malcolm. I look forward to reading your book
    Pax et bonum!


  5. Pingback: We make His love too small | Margot Krebs Neale

  6. You have a gift for exploring Christian paradox in your poetry (which ain’t easy to do, and hasn’t been tackled well since the metaphysics IMHO) so I look forward to your next volume – more goosebumps!

  7. Kim

    Thank you. God is Love.

  8. So relivent in today’s world. Thank you!

  9. How did I not see this …. but now I do!

  10. Pingback: Ordinary Times – Ramblings on a Cosmic Scale … | twiff13

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