Which verse in the Bible best sums up the Gospel?  For many people, it is the one found in this week’s Bible reading from John’s Gospel: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that everyone who believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  This verse tells us at least three great truths.  Firstly, the initiative of salvation is God’s.  Jesus did not change God’s mind.  God was not someone who was angry and needed to be pacified by a human response.  The origin of our salvation is purely God’s.  Next, it tells us that the essence of God is love.  It was love that formed the universe and love that drove our salvation.  Salvation was not to bring the universe to heel and satisfy God’s desire for power.  It was to satisfy his love for us.  Finally, this verse tells us of the breadth of God’s love.  It was the whole world that God loved.  It was every race and every tribe and every person within those.  God loves the unlovely, the unlovable, the pagan the atheist and the terrorist.  All are included in God’s vast love.  As Augustine wrote: “God loves each one of us as if there was only one of us to love.”