Here's this week's Bible study blog entry for i.ucc:

One man's grinning from behind the net
Waits 'til the camera's adjusted
Don't you worry 'bout the flak you'll get?
Aren't you scared of getting busted?T
he ball gets booted - It hits the crossbeam
Up goes the banner - "JOHN 3:16"

From “Bannerman” by Steve Taylor – © 1993 Soylent Music

Steve Taylor wrote and sang about “Bannerman” – ‘that person’ who raises the banner with John 3:16 on it at sporting events. (Steve's still around, but I don't know if he sings the song anymore. He's more of a record producer now.)

A few years after the John 3:16 banner showed up at games, pro wrestler Steve Austin received some ‘inspired’ publicity as folks started displaying “Austin 3:16” on banners at sporting events. And though the presence of either banner isn’t as prevalent anymore, I still see one or the other from time to time.

John 3:16 is one of the, if not the most quoted Bible verses of all time. And here it is – in this week’s Bible reading from John 3:1-17. Austin 3:16 – I won't quote that one, but I can appreciate the marketing mind that came up with it!

This week folks will be wondering aloud about the words 'born again' and 'born anew' and 'born from above' and how they relate to this week's reading. They'll also be talking about the pharisee Nicodemus' night visit to Jesus and how the timing of his visit affects our understanding of what was going on. And we'll also be paying close attention to the word "whosoever" (in the NRSV. "everyone") and the ministry to GLBT folks that takes it's name from that word.
And in all the conversation I worry that our personal experience with this most famous verse will get lost. I hope it doesn't.

What’s your experience with John 3:16?

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