“The Word:” divine source of life and light

Posted Dec 27, 2017

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Daily Scripture

John 1:1-5

1 In the beginning was the Word
    and the Word was with God
    and the Word was God.
2 The Word was with God in the beginning.
3 Everything came into being through the Word,
    and without the Word
    nothing came into being.
    What came into being
4     through the Word was life,
    and the life was the light for all people.
5 The light shines in the darkness,
    and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.

Reflection Questions

“This passage has become famous because it’s often read at Christmas carol services—though it isn’t just about the birth of Jesus, but about the full meaning of everything he was, and is, and did…. ‘In the beginning’—no Bible reader could see that phrase and not think at once of the start of Genesis: ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’…. This book is about the creator God acting in a new way within his much-loved creation. It is about the way in which the long story which began in Genesis reached the climax the creator had always intended. And it will do this through ‘the Word’.”*

  • John’s use of “In the beginning” stretches our minds to areas of mystery of which, even today, science is just scratching the surface. John didn’t say the Word “began” in the beginning; he said the Word already “was.” It was a way of saying Jesus has always been here, and will always be here. He is eternal; he is God. In what ways does John’s teaching that Jesus was more than just a good man shape your faith and your way of life?
  • “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light” wasn’t just poetry. As we see every Christmas Eve, even a large room full of darkness cannot hide or put out the light when the one small Christ candle comes into the room. When have you felt that darkness was trying to put out God’s light in your life? What spiritual choices help keep you close to God, so that God’s light keeps shining in you?

Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank you for shining the life-giving light of your love and grace into my life. Amen.

* N. T. Wright, John for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1–10. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004, p. 3.

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GPS Guide

Whether you’re just starting to explore the Christian faith, or you’re a long-time Christian, we want to do everything we can to help you on your journey to know, love and serve God. The GPS (Grow, Pray, Study) Guide provides Scripture and insights to enhance your journey. If you have a question or comment about the GPS Guide, please send it to GPS@cor.org.

Dr. Amy Oden

Dr. Amy Oden

Dr. Amy Oden is Visiting Professor of Early Church History and Spirituality at Saint Paul School of Theology at OCU. Teaching is her calling, and she looks forward to every day with students. Her latest book (Right Here, Right Now: The Practice of Christian Mindfulness, Abingdon Press, 2017) traces ancient mindfulness practice for Christians today.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light” (v. 5). The GPS Guide for today offers great questions in connection with this verse: “When have you felt that darkness was trying to put out God’s light in your life? What spiritual choices help keep you close to God, so that God’s light keeps shining in you?”

In my life, I notice that it’s not always the major life challenges that threaten to put out God’s light. I easily lose touch with that light when I live at a mind-numbing pace, moving from one thing to the next in a rush of productivity. Often, I’m thinking ahead to what’s next and not aware of the moment I’m in.  

I can go through the day without ever stopping to see—really see—the people I encounter, to recognize that each one is a child of God, made in God’s image. My husband, my co-worker, the person at the drive-through window, someone in front of me in line at the store—all of them are signs of God’s love for the whole world. 

Yet, in my multi-tasking, I read emails or scan social media on my phone instead of looking into each face with wonder and awe at God’s mighty handiwork. I miss out on God’s light entering my life when I miss out on paying attention to God’s children all around me. 

Each of us can become lost in a busy schedule, distracted by screens and tasks. We end up unaware of the moment we are in, and its fullness with God’s own life blessing us right here, right now. 

So, take a moment to pause, breathe deeply, and pay attention on purpose to the people around you today, signs of God’s love and light. Mindfulness can help us “make spiritual choices that keep us close to God, so that light keeps shining in us.”

Looking for GPS Guide? Scroll to the top of this page and click the GPS Guide tab!

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