Study Guide: For God So Loved You

Thursday December 24, 2020 | Greg Boyd

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

Jesus was born and we celebrate this fact because God loved the entire world. We also celebrate Christmas because God loves each one of us in a specific way. God so loves the world and God so loves you individually that he sent his son. It’s WH tradition to share a story with coloring pages for kids on Christmas Eve. This year we hear about Jack the donkey’s special journey in The Promised Star. Download coloring pages for your kids (or yourself!) at the link below!

Extended Summary:

“For God so loved the world” (John 3:16), is something that is proclaimed endlessly. However, we rarely talk about the reality that God so loved each one of us. This is a message that can be found in the book of John, which does not actually include a narrative of Jesus’ birth. Instead the gospel opens with a cosmic announcement of who Jesus is, as the Word, the God of the entire world. However, this great and cosmic God becomes a particular human being at a particular time and place. The all-powerful becomes specific, becoming weak and vulnerable, going as far as possible to express the true nature of God to all that is not God.

In the midst of this particular experience, Jesus ministers and loves particular people. He does not merely love the entire world, he loves specific people in specific ways that meet their needs. God’s love is not theoretical or abstract. God’s love through the coming of Christ is unique for every situation and every specific person. God does not merely love the human race, he loves you in a one-of-a-kind way.

All of us need to embrace the reality that God loves us in a unique way that cannot be repeated, as if we are the only one that God loves. If God’s love is infinite, then it cannot be expended. There is more than enough divine love to extend to every person in history in a specific way where each person actually experiences that love as if he or she is the only one who is loved by God. God loves each person in their uniqueness, not just because each person is part of humanity.

Jesus was born because God so loved you, because He wants an intimate relationship with you in your specificity and your particularity. When we allow this love to get us, we will be transformed out of the things that hinder our lives from being what God has called us to be and it will empower us to be free to share God’s life in the midst of the world.

Reflection Questions: