Where have you been? Where are you going? And why?
Have you ever realized that the more familiar you become with something, the easier it is to take it for granted? Take your driving route to work. You pass by the same things, morning and afternoon, day after day. Sooner or later, buildings, street signs, and other road markers almost fade into oblivion. Too the extent that if you were to bring along a foreigner, they could point something out to you that you look at everyday, and you might actually see it for the first time. It’s as if you’ve seen it so much, that you don’t see it anymore.
I recently shared a story with some of my colleagues that brought it to the forefront of my mind. It’s an Academy Award nominated short film I’d seen a few years back. That was and wasn’t the first time I’d seen the story. I’d actually been hearing it since I was a toddler, just with different characters. Growing up in the community I did, the story was relayed in countless ways: foam sticker boards, smelly barn reenactments, cinema screens, and bed time tales. Heck, mentions of it even follow me to football games thanks to the banner-man in each end zone with his great big neon signs reading: JOHN 3:16.
Still, I realize that we can hear something so many times that we don’t hear it anymore, to quote Lloyd Shadrach. The truth I’m most in danger of overlooking is the truth in Scripture I’m exposed to the most. And the truth of that truth is that we’re lulled to spiritual sleep by our own familiarity with truth. That’s extremely terrifying.
All this leads me to pass along this movie. If you’re like me, you’ve heard John 3:16 so many times that your three year old could accidentally rip it out of your Bible, and you still wouldn’t miss a beat reading through John’s account of Jesus and Nicodemus. But there’s a reason John 3:16 has become the core of so many evangelistic pamphlets. It captures so much of God’s heart for a dying world, reminding us God’s offer is life to the fullest through shed blood. Problem is we’ve lost our eyes to see and our ears to hear because we “know” it so well. Viewing Most may invite you to see, really see, God’s heart for you in a new light. Check out Most: