9 The true light that shines on all people
was coming into the world.
10 The light was in the world,
and the world came into being through the light,
but the world didn’t recognize the light.
11 The light came to his own people,
and his own people didn’t welcome him.
12 But those who did welcome him,
those who believed in his name,
he authorized to become God’s children,
13 born not from blood
nor from human desire or passion,
but born from God.
14 The Word became flesh
and made his home among us.
We have seen his glory,
glory like that of a father’s only son,
full of grace and truth.
The Message paraphrased the powerful poetry of John 1:12 as “whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves.” John was convinced that in Christ we find our true identity. Jesus, who was God, “authorized us” to become God’s children. As we claim and live into that identity, we realize more and more that God is on our side, and find that as God’s children we live a life increasingly filled with grace and truth.
Lord Jesus, you wanted so urgently to reach me and give me new life that you came from the mists of eternity to live here as a human, to be a part of our history. Help me embody and share the good news of your gift of yourself to us. Amen.
Sometime this week, gather your family to spend part of a day or an evening outside in God’s creation. Read Genesis 1 and take some time to enjoy all God offers us in nature. Breathe in fresh air. Snack on fresh fruits and vegetables. Listen for insects and animals. Discover constellations. Feel the grass on your feet or hands. Enjoy one another. If you have time, be open to learning about the different aspects of creation. Find a place to hike or watch a waterfall. Visit the zoo or aquarium. Dig in the dirt and plant a garden. Give thanks to God for the world and for all of God’s creation!
I grew up outside. Every chance I had as a kid, I wanted to be among nature getting my knees dirty until the summer sun went down. Due to my love of the outdoors, I became fascinated with facts about animals. Some may call them useless facts, but I call them facts that may come in handy during an animal edition of Jeopardy.
Earthworms are some of the most interesting creatures in the world. If an earthworm is split in two, it can regenerate its tail. The common myth is that if a worm is split in two, both halves become new worms. Unfortunately, as scientifically cool and creepy as that sounds, only one part can regenerate itself.
The first chapter of John talks about the light of Jesus entering in to the world. Verses twelve and thirteen discuss what happens when someone “welcomes Him” in to their life by “believing in His name.” I love the imagery that’s used to describe what happens when we welcome Jesus by name to transform our beings. Scripture says we’re “born not from blood nor from human desire or passion, but born from God" (The Message translation).
I believe I’ve been born twice in my life time. I was born as a baby in the winter of 1993, but I was also born again in the fall of 2007. When I went to church and found a community of believers for the first time, God changed my heart. I was born again and became a better and more loving version of myself. It’s as if God took the part of me that I didn’t like, that didn’t know Him, and regenerated a kinder and gentler part of me that I needed.
I didn’t think I had anything in common with earthworms, but as it turns out, I needed God to help me get rid of the parts of my life I wasn’t ready to let go of, and to regenerate the life God imagined for me.
In what ways has trusting and following Jesus given you a whole new life?
What parts of your life need to fall away to make room for the new life Jesus desires you to live?
I hope you find newness in knowing His name and continue to learn from Jesus (and earthworms) every day.
P.S. – No worms were harmed in the writing of this blog post.
13720 Roe Ave.
Leawood, KS 66224
24000 W. Valley Parkway
Olathe, KS 66061
1522 McGee St.
Kansas City, MO 64108
601 NE Jefferson Street
Blue Springs, MO 64014
Can’t find something? Let us help.