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:
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.