Saturday 31 December 2011

Bible Book:

"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." (v. 14)

John 1:1-18 Saturday 31 December 2011


The Irish songsmith Van Morrison has a song called "WonderfulRemark", which has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas orChristian faith. But whenever I hear it I am reminded of thispassage from the beginning of John's Gospel. A 'wonderful remark'seems to me to be an apt alternative to "the Word becameflesh".

These opening verses of the Gospel deliberately echo the firstwords of the Bible in Genesis1: "In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth..." John is identifying Jesus Christ with God and placing him atthe heart of creation: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Wordwas with God, and the Word was God ... And the Word became fleshand lived among us" (vv. 1, 14).

In the first chapter of Genesis when God speaks, things happen:"Then God said, 'Let there be light'; and there was light" (Genesis1:3). God acts, reveals and communicates through speaking. ForJohn, Jesus Christ is the ultimate embodiment of God's action,revelation and communication - he is the Word made flesh. "No onehas ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to theFather's heart, who has made him known." (v. 18)

A remark, I would suggest, is usually a spontaneous, unguardedcommunication which reveals a person's true thoughts, feelings andheart. A wonderful remark is a spontaneous, unguarded communicationfull of wonder. Jesus Christ is God's 'wonderful remark' - God'sspontaneous, unguarded communication with humankind and all ofcreation - which reveals God's true thoughts, feelings and heart,and which is indeed full of grace, full of truth and full ofwonder!

To Ponder

The story is told of a Rabbi, so overcome by thewords "And God said ..." that he left the study group gesticulatingwildly, and shouting and screaming, "And God said, and God said...". Ponder for a moment the enormity of the claim that Godcommunicates with us.

Reflect on your own experiences of beingcommunicated with by God. If possible, discuss your experiences ofGod with someone else.

In the year that is about to start, how might youtune your senses to more readily hear God speaking?

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