For God so loved the world that God gave the only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. [from John 3]
God loves the world.
Κοσμος (cosmos) is the Greek word we translate here as “world” (not the nifty little drinks with cranberry juice and a twist of lime). I did a quick online search of how various people have interpreted “world” in John’s gospel. One site said that while “cosmos” can sometimes mean the whole world, here in John 3 it is limited to God’s chosen.
There’s no rationale behind such a statement. No, God loves the world. That’s the whole world. And while that world was pretty big in John’s day—including Roman soldiers, “sinners,” pagans, Pharisees, people who went to the temple regularly and those who weren’t allowed in the temple, lepers and other “unclean” folk—today our world is even bigger.
Today we can turn on the television or listen to the radio or read the newspaper and find stories—with real people in them—from all over God’s world. And when we’re really lucky, we either get to travel and meet some of those people, or we find they come closer to us.
Syrian refugees resettling in our cities
Latino immigrants – documented and undocumented - in our schools
People of faith in other religions
People of races different from yours/mine
Speakers of other languages
Openly LGBTQ persons
God loves the world. The whole world. So much that God gave. God gave everything.
So must we give.
Love the Κοσμος.
Love the world.
It’s God’s world.