16 “For God so loved the world,[a] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgement: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
Giving is central to the celebration of Christmas because God gave His Son. Jesus is God’s gift to the world. John 3v16 sums up the wonderful inclusivity of Christianity. God gave His Son so that whoever believes can know God. The invitation is to everyone and anyone. At the same time there is also a challenge for those of us who read these famous verses, especially at Christmas. The call is to believe in Jesus; not missing the point of Christmas – that God’s gift to the world is not just another leader, teacher or “good person” but His beloved Son.