Day One: God Loves the World, No Exceptions

On this first day of your holy adventure, we begin with the basics – our relationship with God, the Holy Adventurer. How you imagine the ultimate reality will shape what you expect from yourself and the world. What kind of world do we live in? Is God on our side or against us? Does God want us to have abundant life or does God want us to remain passive and subservient, living by scarcity?

Perhaps the best known passage from scripture is John 3:16, “for God so loved the world that God gave his only begotten Child.” One of my teachers, Bernard Loomer, judged spiritual insights by their size, that is, how much of the world they embraced. As you ponder your vision of God, consider the questions: Is your vision of God big enough to encompass the fourteen billion year, hundred billion galaxy cosmic adventure? Is your understanding of God big enough to encompass the complexities of your life as well as the neighbor and the stranger? Does your image of God encourage you to grow in stature or does it diminish your love for the world in its wonderful diversity?

As a new year’s affirmation, make a vow to have the mind the Christ or the spirit of the Bodhisattva, embracing each moment and each person in the holy here and now of God’s adventurous love.

Affirm throughout this day statements such as:
God loves the world – no exceptions.
God loves me.
I am God’s beloved child. God wants me to be creative and adventurous.
God loves ________. (a family member, neighbor, political or national opponent.)

Living with these statements will change your life and the change the world.

Throughout the day, take a moment to pause and notice the persons you meet – the bank teller, check out person, a colleague at work, or the driver who cuts you off on the road. Pause to experience your partner, child, or friend with new eyes as God’s beloved son or daughter. See them loved by God. Take off your shoes; this is holy ground. Take a moment to bless them with God’s all-encompassing love.

To order Holy Adventure: 41 Days of Audacious Living –

About Bruce Epperly

Rev. Bruce Epperly, Ph.D., serves as Pastor at South Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Centerville, MA. Prior to coming to Cape Cod in 2013, he served on the faculties and often in administrative and chaplaincy roles at Georgetown University, Claremont School of Theology, Wesley Theological Seminary, and Lancaster Theological Seminary. Bruce is currently a professor in spirituality, ministry, and theology in the doctoral program at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C. He has served as pastor or interim pastor of congregations in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. He is the author or co-author of over 35 books in the areas of theology, spirituality, ministerial excellence and spiritual formation, scripture, and healing and wholeness, including Process Theology: Embracing Adventure with God; Finding God in Suffering: A Journey with Job; From Here to Eternity: Preparing for the Next Adventure; and A Center in the Cyclone: Clergy Self-care in the 21st Century.