“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
In the Beginning
Jesus is God’s way of speaking to us – God’s Word, you might say.
-Br. Mark Brown
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?