18Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

In ancient tradition “name” is power. “The name of the only Son of God” is the power that informed and shaped the life of Jesus.

The Entry into Jerusalem St. Andrew Altarpiece, Vienna (1430-35)

To “believe in the name of the only Son of God” is not an intellectual or rational exercise. It is an act of trust, of opening and surrendering to that power that informed Jesus’ earthly life.

To conform my life to any other power is to be “condemned already.” The natural consequence of a life lived apart from opening and surrendering to that force of love we call Jesus, is always pain and suffering in the human community and in the physical world.

When I live apart from “the name of the only Son of God” I lose my awareness of that force which “so loved the world that he gave his only Son” for the well-being of the world.

There is a force of Life that is bent towards the flourishing of all life. I can place confidence in this force and trust that it is oriented towards the well-being of all aspects of creation.

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What are the practices/habits in my life that help me to perceive the force of Life that is moving towards the flourishing of all life? What helps me to align my life with this force?