Overplayed (John 3:16)

“Not that song again!”


My friend and I were listening to the iconic love theme from the movie, “Titanic”. Sung by the incomparable Celine Dion, her rich and beguiling voice filled the room with the strains of the familiar, “My Heart Will Go On.” Over twenty years later, it is still a magnificent song sung by one of the greatest female vocalists of our time. Images and literary allusions to the Titanic filled the airwaves and popular press at that time and underlying it all, this irrepressible song. It was repeatedly played on every radio station, and it was too much. It was overplayed and it was not soon that I would switch the radio station if it came on.


What is the definition of overplayed? Clearly, the answer is subjective. For some, the answer is simple, overplayed means they never want to hear the song again. Ironically, there are many songs that fell into this category for me but recently, I have been listening to a radio station that has reprised many of these songs, much to my delight. I was struck with the fact that although many of these songs fell into my definition of overplayed, now, I have a desire to listen to these songs once again. Like “My Heart Will Go On”, I find myself enjoying the nuances of the song that originally led myself and millions of others to fall in love with it. What is the difference? Perhaps revisiting an overplayed song through the filter of time and a lifetime of experiences may make it palatable once again?


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 (ESV)


Even if one is not a believer in Jesus Christ, most are familiar with this verse. At nearly every major sporting event or public assembly, a placard proclaiming this well-known Bible verse is displayed. Cynics and critics may roll their eyes at this sight of this verse. Not again, they declare. With so much familiarity, the verse is usually ignored, much like an overplayed song. Is this message no longer relevant?


There are many familiar themes in the Bible such as love, redemption, reconciliation, salvation, and fellowship. Yet the entire Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ and the Bible, is encapsulated in this verse. This theme is present in every book of the Bible, from the Old to the New Testament. In a sense, it is overplayed because God is reassuring all of us that His grace and mercy will always be manifest through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. If we seek eternal life and salvation, God is offering it through faith and belief in Jesus Christ.


Is this verse overplayed? Hardly!


It is not played enough!


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.


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