It is the longest pun that I know. It’s the story of the Texan who gave his cattle ranch to his boys. They renamed the ranch, “Focus”—Where the Sons Raise Meat (Where the Sun’s Rays Meet). Okay, it’s also the dumbest pun I know, but it does give us the opportunity to talk about focus.
John 3:16 also gives us a way to talk about focus. John begins with God and His love. That divine love is then focused through Jesus and His death on the cross and His resurrection. John telescopes that di-vine love finally down to you and me—included in the “whoever.” I wonder if John didn’t choose this word, “whoever,” to make a point about focus. He could have written, “everyone” or “all who.” But John didn’t. He chose the personal, individual focus of this divine love for you and me as he chose his words.
I like the “tag line” we have been using and will use more often about Bethlehem. Bethlehem is the place “Jesus meets His family.” There’s the same focus: God’s love in Jesus coming to meet you and me. The story of Christmas is also your story and mine. God’s love always connects with someone.
Focusing our efforts in ministry follows the example in John 3:16. Je-sus has connected us with God’s love and gathered us here at Bethle-hem as His family. Jesus also focused our efforts in witness and min-istry in Acts. He reverses the telescope: start in Jerusalem, then Sa-maria and Galilee, then the ends of the earth. So we want to start in our Jerusalem—our neighborhood. Then, as the Holy Spirit gives us opportunities, we will aim for Samaria, Galilee and the rest. Read more . . .