This Sunday is called Laetare Sunday. We hear some especially good news at this time in our Lenten journey: the most popular verse in the entire bible, words that have been hung on banners in recent years in front of the seats on stadium walls: John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”
You and I are part of that “loved world.” It is you and me that those words are addressed.
Please note that those words do not say that God was so angry at the world that He sent a pandemic, so furious with the world that He sent division amongst us, so disappointed with the world that He sent a tremendous lack of trust. No, it says God so loved the world that He gave us Jesus.
Those are the words that provide the reason for naming this Sunday “Laetare Sunday.” Laetare means “Rejoice”, have joy at the good news!