Week 2 Day 1: In the Beginning

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
John 1:1

In the Beginning
Jesus is God’s way of speaking to us – God’s Word, you might say.

-Br. Mark Brown



Transcript:

The theme for this second week is God’s love as it is revealed in and through Jesus Christ. The topic for today is “In the Beginning”. I’ll read the very first verse of the first chapter of the Gospel of John. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

This, of course, has echoes of the very beginning of Genesis. John is consciously rhyming with that beginning of Genesis. It’s also mysterious and paradoxical and ambiguous. It may be the most mysterious, paradoxical and ambiguous verse of the Bible. If you read very closely and if you translate closely it gets even stranger. If we translate very closely it would be “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was toward God and the Word was God.” No translator knows quite what to do with that, so we have “the Word was with God”.

Then, a few verses later we read that this Word, which was with or toward and was God, was made flesh in Jesus of Nazareth. The Word comes into being into the world as a human being, as flesh, as fleshly human being. Jesus is God’s way of speaking to us – God’s Word, you might say. We might say God, who is love, speaks the word of love in Jesus Christ. We also read in this very first few verses of the Gospel of John that through Christ, through the living Word, light comes into the world, life comes into the world. Not only grace, but grace upon grace, comes into the world, and truth comes into the world through Jesus Christ. This is a huge, huge chapter of the Gospel of John, a huge, huge opening verse of the Gospel of John.

I think we could pray with this in multiple ways. Maybe the wisest is simply to sit silently before the great mystery and paradox of God. Or, we might reflect on our own humanity as made in the image and likeness of God, in the flesh, incarnate as Jesus was incarnate in the flesh. We might ask ourselves if there’s one word spoken by my life in this world, what would that word be? Does my life speak love? Does my life speak light? Does my life speak life or grace or truth? These are all possibilities. What is the word that your life is speaking?

We invite you to share your answer in the comments below or using #MeetingJesus

21 Comments

  1. Susan Oldrieve on 02/19/2018 at 7:01 am

    I really like the idea of the Word being toward God–like the Buddhist Idea of pointing to the moon, it speaks to me of suggesting God, directing our eyes towards God, leading us to think of God. But unlike the Buddhist finger, this Word actually IS God. So we are with God when we are in the Word or It is in us, and we are also looking towards God, being drawn to God at the same time. Because God is omnipresent, eternal always stretching beyond our view, He can be in us and ahead of us at the same time, and it must of necessity be so.

    And yes, because we embody the Holy Spirit, we, too, are now the living Word of God, pointing others and ourselves towards God, leaning towards him, while at the same time being His Image and holding Him within us.

  2. Susan too on 02/19/2018 at 4:16 am

    My life has spoken many words in the past; shame, fear, imposter… I joined the Anglican church about six years ago, following a deep personal crisis that a priest, with her loving and prayerful council, helped me recover from and move forward. Last week, through the Meeting Jesus in John process, I felt my heart truly opening to recieve God’s love more fully than ever. The commentary by the Brothers, questions posed and reflections suggested were simple and deep at the same time. Today, as I move forward, my word is Trust. Thank you, SSJE.

  3. Radha Swamy 18-2-2018 on 02/19/2018 at 4:13 am

    Hi Susan you are beautiful because God made you in his image.God is with you no matter how you are he loves you unconditionally he will never leave you nor forsake you. I will pray to God that he will give peace and comfort to you.No matter how feel or what you go through he is in the midst and he will take you through.God Bless You

  4. Jennifer on 02/19/2018 at 3:50 am

    Truth

  5. Robert on 02/19/2018 at 3:20 am

    What words do we speak? Sometimes I feel we’re all still at the stage of that Tower in Babel: confused, jumbled. Our Lent reflections can help find the key words by which to live in Him: faith, hope and love.

  6. Tom Simpson on 02/18/2018 at 11:48 pm

    For me, these first verse words of the Gaspel of John are neither mysterious, paradoxical or ambiguous but a powerful statement identifing God as the Word for all things no matter if you prefer to use “with” or “towards”. And further “was made flesh in Jesus of Nazareth”, only puts in to place the presense of Jesus without the mysterious, paradoxical or ambiguous birth as presented in Matthew and Luke. Now I can focus on the Love of God along with The First commandment given to us by Jesus , to Love the Lord you god with all your mind…etc
    Maybe my mind is to simple for the views of the Brothetrs, but i also believ that Jesus was trying to keep it simpsle for us.
    Thank you for keeping us inspiired and educated.

  7. Richard Dixon on 02/18/2018 at 9:22 pm

    I found this question incredibly difficult to answer.Some of the possibilities included characteristics I dislike in myself. After a while i feel that “seeking’ is my word. Seeking to get closer to my Lord, seeking, yes, to demonstrate His love in my thoughts, words and deeds. But I have peace because I know God loves me and is doing stuff in my life. His timing is fine by me.
    Thank you Brother Mark for the challenge of your question.

  8. Bev Cone on 02/18/2018 at 8:28 pm

    For Bryan,
    Discovery – what a wonderful word, which has brought all sorts of wondrous thoughts to me this morning. I had assumed I would say my one word is Joy – and that is a huge part of my life, but discovery can include even more about me – as I strive to reach out and appreciate more and more of life through Jesus Christ.
    Lots to think about, and lots to try! Thanks, Bryan

  9. Susan Marengo on 02/18/2018 at 7:13 pm

    The translation “…toward God” makes more sense to me. Aren’t we always trying to move “toward God”? I love the question “Does my life speak love”? I think that is something to post in your car around your home and where you work.

    I can hear the brothers better on my cell phone than my computer.

  10. Bryan Cook on 02/18/2018 at 6:48 pm

    This opening statement “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” and the start of the Book of Genesis are very difficult for me to grasp.

    I do not believe they are talking about physical creation of our universe in the cosmos…..we are learning more and more about that daily. I think the early writers of scripture and the apostles were grappling with how describe the imbuing of all things, animate and inanimate with a Soul in the hierachy of souls which derive from the ultimate soul, God. The force which fuels this hierachy is Love. Souls are the blueprints of Life.

    The Word from ancient times has been the primary mechanism of communicating the news, in this case Good News from which we derive the word Gospel. So I think that the biblical writers were using the most powerful word they knew to define the creation of spirituality in the context of a unifying God among many idols.

    I believe in the Holy Trinity…God as the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, with the Holy Ghost as the Holiest of Souls. I also belive in other Trinities such as Recovery, Unity, Service; Serenity, Courage, Unity; and Physical, Mental, Spritiual. Trinities provide a framework for my daily life.

    The most definig word in my life is Discovery, a constant source of amazement and joy. I am still discovering the joy of communicating with and through the Holy Trinity.

  11. Betsey on 02/18/2018 at 6:09 pm

    Hopeful

  12. Keith Aldred on 02/18/2018 at 6:03 pm

    God will show us the way, if we trust Him. May all His children be open to Him.

  13. Susan on 02/18/2018 at 5:05 pm

    My life is broken. I am lonely. I am ugly. I am old. I am unlovable.
    God is not speaking to me. I will never recover. Never be the same.
    I need to move on but I am a prisoner in my body.

    • Susan on 02/18/2018 at 5:17 pm

      Read Healed by Kate Moorehead!

      • Suzanne Haraburd on 02/18/2018 at 5:43 pm

        Thank You

    • Betsey on 02/18/2018 at 6:11 pm

      Someone needs you.

    • Cheryl on 02/18/2018 at 6:40 pm

      Susan, in His name, I speak other words to and over and around you. I speak wholeness, I speak beauty, tenderness. I speak boldly that you are surrounded in Him and in us here too. I speak the truth that regardless of your physical reality you are loved and are NOT alone. Bathe in these truths today. Say them to yourself out loud. Today is the day when you step into the freedom He means for you. In Him, I speak the word encouragement to you today!

    • Barbara Tawater on 02/18/2018 at 8:20 pm

      You will and can recover. You are already on the right track to do so. Prayers to you.

    • Alison Inglis on 02/18/2018 at 8:29 pm

      Dear Susan. It makes me sad to hear you say this about yourself! It sounds like you are DEPRESSED, and isolated……..having been healed, over the years, by God’s amazing love, all I can encourage you to do is to cry out to God to help you. He does love you, and He is here for you. Speaking “thankfulness” is a very good way to combat deep self loathing……..try it!

  14. John David Spangler on 02/18/2018 at 4:48 pm

    For myself this is the key line in Scripture and forms the basis for my life. Indeed, the Gospel of John speaks all. The balance of the Bible is for me something extra, not extraneous but not essential to my belief. Through the Gospel of John that, as Brother Mark says, Christ and God’s grace came into the world. Again, it is as Brother Mark wrote: This is a huge, huge chapter of the Gospel of John, a huge, huge opening verse of the Gospel of John.. Indeed, the Gospel of John is huge, huge. The Word speaks to my life: love; light; life; grace; and truth. I strive to live up to these words. I thank the Brothers and all participants for helping to meet Jesus more completely. Peace!

  15. Ruth rogers on 02/18/2018 at 4:35 pm

    Love

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