John 1:1-5, NIV

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.

3Through him all things were made; without him nothing
was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that
life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness,
but the darkness has not understood it.


 

August 23, 2010 
I wonder how long it took and how many drafts, for John to
write his opening paragraph! The New Testament contains four
Gospels which record the events surrounding the life, death,
and resurrection of Jesus. Only John begins with the
astonishing statement that Jesus was present before creation--
in the colorless void and deep, dark waters. When God said,
"Let there be light", Jesus was the Word.

What an extraordinary way of placing Jesus, the humble
Galilean itinerant teacher and healer, into the big picture.
Elevated to the level of the Eternal One; Jesus always was and
ever is the life-light of humankind! 
John could see it so clearly.

He makes no mention of the stable with a 
manger crib or
shepherds on the hillside. John is not limited by mundane 
details. He lifted his sights to glimpse it all, in total, and his
pen moves with 
the broadest of strokes. And why not?
Immanuel, The Promised One, 
God Incarnate, our Savior,
Redeemer and Lord--the Word of God at the 
dawn of creation,
and the Word still giving life to everyone who believes 
and
receives him. Ablaze in distant galaxies, and up close in our
world, too.

God's communication with us and our communication with
God mark the beginning of our journey from death into life
and from darkness into light. Jesus is the Word igniting
that conversation.

 


 

                                                                      More journal entries

October 25, 2001  
In the beginning . . . . . Beginning an endeavor is fun, exciting
and full of possibilities. I'm still on my first page. I do not know
if I can or will be faithful to complete what is in my mind to
journal through the Gospel of John.

God's dream for mankind was also full of possibilities. God is
a God of hope; then, now and forever - through the bitter and
the sweet. When God was on the first page, was God also
questioning the wisdom and worth of it all?

 

Oct 26, 2001  
The history of the world according to the Gospel writer is
contained in his opening paragraph. From the creation until
the advent of Jesus on 
earth, God ruled by speaking and Jesus
has been the word and the life 
that gives light to all. But the
goodness God created has taken a beating. 
The world just
didn't get it.

To say that Jesus is the word speaks volumes about how
God works and gets things done. Nothing is coerced. No stick
is used. God speaks and the message is one of grace and truth.

What was it the darkness did not understand? That it could
never defeat the light? That light is a better choice, a preferred
alternative? One leads to life and the other to destruction
and death?

If humankind could only see how much God loves them,
maybe the light could grow greater and the darkness diminish.

 

August 24, 2010  
Here's something else I wonder about. What was in our
Maker's mind at the dawn of creation? What was God's desire
for the created world? And why, knowing all things, would
God subject himself to all the heartache that would surely
follow the giving of freewill--to do good, or to do evil--to 
humankind!?

Genesis opens with the phrase, "In the beginning, God . . . ."
John's Gospel 
also opens with the words, "In the beginning . . . ."
But this time it's not about 
the creation of the heavens and the
earth. This is God's new adventure 
and it's called a Gospel,
meaning good news about God's Son, the one 
we call our
Savior.

And I try to peer into the mind of our Heavenly Father as he
weighs the risks versus the rewards of giving up that part of
himself that we call God's Son. God the lover; God the risk-taker.
The God of all hope; the God of all sorrows.

We didn't understand the first time around. Here's another
chance. Maybe this time we will get it right.

 

February 19, 1982  
At the beginning God expressed himself, and it was good.
Expressed himself to whom? To Jesus? To the chaos and
darkness? Maybe he said something like, "Things have got to
change around here."

Did God speak out of his own need to be heard and understood,
his need to share who he was and to communicate love? It is
God's nature to love, does that mean God has a need to love?
And be loved? Or have a I crossed a sacred boundary line?
Does God have needs? If so, God found expression in
creating the world.

 

February 20, 1982  
The word was with God and was God from the beginning. So
when the disciples traveled with Jesus and the crowds came
to hear and see him, they were witnessing someone who
existed from the beginning and was present at creation!

There could be no doubt then that Jesus knew everything
about life and how to live it. He created male and female; so
he knows all about us too. He possessed the knowledge and
wisdom of God. That is mind boggling. Thoughts like that
create a huge gulf between God and the people of earth.
But Jesus made God personal, approachable and lovable. 
Jesus bridged that gulf.

Jesus, the Word, revealed the God of all time. There was
nothing about God he didn't know. As I read the Gospel,
I should note the characteristics of God which Jesus revealed.


February 24, 1982 
Light shines into the darkness, yet darkness still exists. Light
illuminates the darkness, and all the darkness in the world
cannot put the light out. Light does not dispel all darkness,
but provides a patch of safety and a direction to move toward.
A candle burning in the darkness is greater than the darkness
surrounding it.

Is my back toward the light as I follow the rays into the darkness?
Or am I facing the light and leaving the darkness behind me?
Do I walk in the darkness as long as there's a ray of light to
see where I'm going? Or does the light make me seek more
light--the brighter it is, the better I like it?

 

August 26, 2010 
In the beginning . . . . Yet God is not limited by the boundaries
of time. So what beginning is this? When is the beginning of
something that is eternal? It must mean the beginning as far
as we are concerned. It is in the heart of God that "I will be
their God and they will be my people." That's God's dream for
humanity, for all of us, from the beginning. That's what this
thing called life is about according to our ancient but forever
new Scriptures.

John wants us to think of Jesus as "with God, was God" from
the beginning of creation. Why is that important? It creates an
attitude of highest honor and respect for a position of authority
equal to God. Sacred time is holy history.

God's communication with us and our communication with
God started with the Word and before John's opening paragraph
is complete we recognize and identify the Word as Jesus. Jesus
is the Word that begins the conversation. God is the great
Initiator who loved us first and acted on our behalf to shine
the light of Jesus into our darkness.

Jesus used to say that sheep know their shepherd's voice.
I'm afraid I don't know my Shepherd's voice. I've lost touch.
Sheep are not all that smart yet even they know who to follow,
they know who cares for them, who to trust. Why do I make
something so simple, so difficult! Why do I withdraw and
wander away? And forget the God who loves me?
How stupid is that!  


August 19, 2010 
In the beginning . . . is my desire to read John's Gospel slowly,
with an open and loving heart, and then put my thoughts,
feelings, prayers, questions, any insights I receive, on "paper"
in some form that is meaningful and authentic to me and that
may inspire someone else in their quest to know something
more about God and the Gospel story.

Where does this desire come from? I hope it is the Holy Spirit
stirring me up to be and do more than I ever thought I could
be or do. (Twice before in my life I did some journaling from
John's Gospel and will draw from those entries also.)

This will be my new/current project. Going forward, I know it
will challenge me in every way. There will be days when I will
fly high in the bright skies of creativity, and days when I will
sink into a well of despair and not want to continue. Progress
will be punctuated by lapses and times of disgust for losing
momentum. But though my faithfulness will wax and wane,
I believe God will be steadfast, and bring me through it all
to a good conclusion.

My aim is to be a channel through which our loving Heavenly
Father will speak truth and grace to his children. And so
I begin this new endeavor.

                                                                                         next>