Of all the verses in our Gospel text today the one that jumps out at me is: 17 “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.” I am fully aware that there are perfectly nice people who interpret the “saved through him” part of this verse to confirm a view of being Christian that is “born again” as a one time experience of transformation that some Christian have and some do not, and that’s fine.
The one time born again experience is not a view I share, but I am not here to judge anyone for how they come to understand God, as long as they do not proselytize or guilt me. Did that sound like a judgement right there? Well, “do as I say not as I do!” Did you know that’s an old phrase that sources back to Matthew 23:3 instructing us like this; “therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach.” That’s darn good advice but not what we are going to focus on today!
We are going to look at both Psalm 121 and the Gospel from John to discern what in the heck they are talking about. I say what in the heck because there are some inconsistencies in the meaning of both that may cause puzzlement in the minds of some. That is how it is in religion, because a life of faith is a state of mind and soul, not a science. I am a proponent of science, but there are some things that cannot be understood through the scientific, empirical lens.