It is the fourth Sunday in Lent. The title of today’s cantata is “Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt” (God so loved the world).
Today’s Gospel reading is John 3:14-21:
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
The text of today’s cantata meshes perfectly with today’s Gospel reading, and the music is a perfect companion with which to contemplate the message. The text is available here. The opening chorus is translated as follows:
God so loved the world,
that He gave us His Son.
Whoever gives himself to Him in faith
shall afterwards live with Him eternally.
Whoever believes that Jesus was born for him,
will never be lost,
and no sorrow will trouble him
who loves God and also His Jesus.
If you close your eyes, you can almost see the guy with the giant rainbow afro standing behind me holding up the John 3:16 sign.