Cycle B

Good News B17

Fourth Sunday of Lent


John 3:14-21 New American Bible

John 3:14-21 Bible Gateway New International Version


Old Testament -

Story of Moses and the Serpent (Numbers 21:4-9)


“Moses lifted up the Serpent.”


Adam and Eve chose to eat the apple and give in to the temptation of the serpent. Therefore, the serpent (a fallen Seraphim angel) or snake is a symbol for evil and darkness. The serpent appears again in the desert with the Israelites. The Israelites were hot, tired, and hungry. They complained about God and Moses bringing them to the desert without food or water. They talked badly about God and Moses with their tongues. Therefore God set free the seraph serpents he had been holding back. Many people died from the bites with the tongue and poisonous venom of these snakes.  When this happened the Israelites realized that they had sinned against God. They told Moses to pray to God to take the serpents away from them. So Moses prayed and God told him to make a saraph serpent and mount it on a pole. Anyone bitten by a snake could look at the serpent on the pole and become well. So Moses made a bronze metal serpent on a pole. When a serpent bit someone, if he looked at the serpent pole he was forgiven his sins and was made well.

          Doctors and nurses all over the world use a symbol with a serpent on it as their medical symbol for making people well. One reason could be this story from the Old Testament. Another reason could be that a snake makes itself well or renews itself when it grows a new skin and gets rid of its old skin.

          God sent his son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross to forgive our sins so that we may have eternal life. When we are baptized, we put on a new life…a new skin. Each time God forgives us, we put on new skin. We shed the old skin with its sins and sorrows. God makes us well. We go away from the darkness of evil, towards the goodness of the light of God and his Son and the Holy Spirit.

            There are 24 more days until Easter when Jesus arises from the dead. This week do things to help heal yourself and others. If you do something wrong, say “I am sorry. Will you forgive me?” If someone hurts you and says they are sorry, forgive them.  



Monday: When you get up in the morning, say, “Good Morning, Lord. Please forgive me for complaining. I am really thankful for the food, water, shelter, and clothing that you give me. Thank you for protecting me from the evils around me.”

Tuesday: Make your yard beautiful for the Lord. Grow flowers and shrubs that butterflies enjoy. Feed the birds. Clean up your yard.

Wednesday: Send a cheerful card to a girl or boy in the children’s ward at a hospital near you.  

Thursday: Write a note or draw a picture to thank your teacher for telling you all about your favorite subject. Give it to them in class.

Friday: Get your parents or grandparents a glass of ice water and tell them to sit down and rest for just a few minutes. Tell them 3 reasons you love them while they are drinking their water.

Saturday: Draw a picture of you and your family at church. Put “Our Family Loves You, Lord” at the top. Put it on your refrigerator.

Sunday:  Say a prayer for the people who sit in back of you in Church. Ask God to bless them in a special way today.                                      


Say the “Our Father” to thank God for forgiving you and giving you a chance to start over every day of your life. Show God you love him by what you do and say every day.          


“Our Father, who art in Heaven,

Hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day, our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.




Copyright © 2003, 2008 Joan Y. Edwards. All rights reserved.