Going Deeper 1-3-20

The Gospel reading for Christmas 2…

John 1:1-18  1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.  10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth. 15 (John testified to him and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, "He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.' ") 16 From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known.


Beyond just the first three words, there are some important connections between John 1 and Genesis 1.  “In the beginning…” in both chapters is followed by a type of creation story—including the creation of “life”, and a reference to “light.”   Of course, you cannot have life without light.  Also, in both stories God is described as dwelling among His people.  Another connection is the idea that creation comes about through God’s “Word.”  In Genesis, God created by speaking, and here in John’s Gospel God is again creating through His Word.  There is also a reference to “children of God” who are the result of God’s working… “who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.”


The story of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the story of the Creator re-creating.  Darkness seemingly is again covering the earth, but in this case it is the darkness of sin and death.  Humanity has proven to be incapable of finding its own way out of the darkness.  It will take an act of the Creator... who again pierces the darkness with His Word.  This time God’s Word creates a “new human” by becoming flesh.  


At the heart of it all is the outcome of the Word becoming flesh—He came “full of grace and truth.”  This is what pierced the darkness of sin and death.  This is the Word/Light which brought about a new creation—“grace upon grace.”  The epitome of God’s infinite glory is shone through the gifting of His Son, the Word-made-flesh, who came to re-create by laying down His life-- piercing the darkness of sin, and through His resurrection—piercing the darkness of death.  Great grace indeed!


Finally, it is vitally important for us to understand that our clearest way of understanding God came and comes in the person of Jesus.  “No one has ever seen God” the Father/Creator, and given the complexity of the Old Testament stories about God’s working with and through various people within a wide variety of situations, there is potential to become quite confused about what God is truly like.  And, of course, with God being infinite and our being dreadfully finite, comprehending God is not something we are capable of doing on our own.  We need God’s help in order to begin and grow in our understanding of God.  And God has revealed Himself—His very heart and nature—most clearly through His Son, Jesus.  


May the light of our knowing of our Creator/Father grow continually through our relationship with His Son and our Brother, Jesus the Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit of God.


With You in Him,

Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."