Year B, Lent 4; John 3:14-21; Lectionary reading for March 14, 2021

The second part of this verse (“… that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”) gets tossed around a lot to condemn others: people of other religions entirely, even people of different Christian denominations whose beliefs don’t align with our own. It is also a great verse for scaring people into believing in Christ, because who wants to perish? Not me.

However, both those that use this verse to condemn and those who use it to frighten do so in ignorance of a key word in the verse: world.

It doesn’t say “God so loved Canada,” or “God so loved Jews,” or anything else. “God so loved the world.” Let’s celebrate that with our children! This verse grants us the opportunity to explore the expansive and never-ending love God has for our planet and its inhabitants.

Honestly, it is difficult to pick just one storybook that celebrates the world. As this blog progresses, I hope to have many more opportunities to present books that celebrate the diversity of creation, but to simplify your planning needs, I’ve selected one of my very favourites: Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth, by Oliver Jeffers.

Written as instructions for an infant, this tender book presents the wonders of the physical world as well as the human. The illustrations are whimsical and a little silly, and you’ll find sprinkles of sweet little bits of advice throughout. My favourite?

You are a person. You have a body. Look after it, as most bits don’t grow back.

-Oliver Jeffers

I don’t want to give away the ending and steal your goosebumps, so go find this book and celebrate God’s love for the whole of creation with the children in your ministry.

I receive a small commission when you purchase a book through my links. The money goes towards the expense of running the site… just kidding; I buy more books.

Jeffers, Oliver. Here We Are: Notes For Living on Planet Earth. London, HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2017.

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