As a small non-profit with a big mission, we rely on the generous gifts of supporters like you to help our ministry prosper and grow.



Windows into the Light by Michael Sullivan

Purchase a copy of Michael Sullivan's WINDOWS INTO THE LIGHT: A LENTEN JOURNEY OF STORIES AND ART from


Signposts: Daily Devotions

Sunday, March 22

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
—John 3: 16-17

I remember memorizing this verse as a child. There was something magical about it that spoke to my young boy’s heart. I’m not sure if it was because I believed that somehow I was the one who God so loved or if perhaps I needed comfort. But for whatever reason, this verse still takes me back to my childhood, standing in a Sunday School room, with Mrs. Gillespie smiling, watching me as I colored.

Unfortunately, the church has often proclaimed judgment instead of love. And during Lent, the season when we are to remove the sins from our lives, it is all too easy for the church to focus upon evil, darkness, and guilt. But this Gospel statement of God’s love for all creation bids us toward eternal hope. Even in the midst of Lent, the church is at her best when she proclaims this freely to all.

Perhaps if we’d all learned John 3:17 as well as the verse captured on signs at football games, we would have understood grace and mercy more and judgment less. Perhaps if we could root God’s love and lack of condemnation in the very soil of our religious life, then the negativity of judgment would erode and we would be left with a world saved through grace.

Perhaps if you and I, people along God’s journey, could return to the gift of God’s love as children sitting in a Sunday school class with a coloring page, condemnation would not be in our vocabulary and grace would abound all the more.

Let all of us return not only to the beloved verse of John 3:16, but be certain to also read the verse thereafter. For there flows eternal life, and without condemnation, God’s salvation comes.

Loving God, help me see where my own righteousness interferes with your grace, and in stripping me of those faults, may others come to know of your mercy. Amen.