Reflections on the Lectionary: John 3:1-18
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from


Stephen Kaufman, M.D., Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

Reflections on the Lectionary: John 3:1-18
(May 31, 2009) 

This passage includes Jesus’ well-known saying, “For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” I think this passage offers several insights relevant to those who (with strong Biblical support) believe that we as Christians are called to be responsible stewards of God’s Creation.
This verse points us away from the notion that God is focused on meting out harsh punishment for sin and points us toward a notion of a loving God loves who cares about creation. Significantly, the Son is sent to save “the world,” not just humanity. The world includes God’s creatures and God’s good earth, and this verse argues strongly against the human-centered, self-serving worldview articulated by many Christian leaders.

 The world has always needed salvation, because outside the Garden of Eden there is pain, suffering, and death. God’s assistance will be necessary before there can be an age when “death shall be no more” (Revelation 21:4), but it seems that our help is needed for this to happen. The need for salvation of the earth has never been greater than now, because of the growing environmental crisis that threatens great harm to God’s Creation, and which might destroy human civilization as we know it.   

Go on to: Reflections on the Lectionary: Mark 4:26-34
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