During my nearly two decades in greater Atlanta’s northeast reaches, I spent a lot of time going back and forth on the ridiculously over-traveled road Georgian’s simply know as “316.” A quarter century ago it was the biggest hit in transportation, finally giving a direct route from north Atlanta to Athens, foregoing the need to stop off in burgs like Lawrenceville, Duluth, Winder, Statham, and Bogart. For folks in that region, traveling Highway 316 is now a way of life; a given route to navigate what has become one of the South’s most crowded corridors.
For Christians, the numbers three and sixteen coupled together conjure a commute with a divine designation. “316” is the address of the gospel in a nutshell in the first of John’s New Testament contributions. Every Sunday-schooler should know it by heart. Pretty sure you do. But do you know how many other “3:16” verses are central to our faith and practice? I’ll give you a hint – a lot of them.
So on the Sundays in June and July, I am going to run to eight of them in a series called “Numbers to Live By.” In this series, I will point to some of the most important verses in our sacred text, all with that common nomenclature. Not surprisingly, we will start with the one we know the best; “For God so loved the world…” and share communion as we do. But we will have plenty of other good stops after that. My hope is that when we are done, you will not look at those numbers the same again. They are spiritual mile-markers as we travel our own Highway 316. They really are numbers we can live by, and together we will unpack just what that kind of life looks like. Thanks for joining me on that trip. Buckle up. Get comfortable. It’s going to be a good ride.