Sunday 02 January 2022

Bible Book:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was with God. (v. 1)

John 1:1-18 Sunday 2 January 2022

Psalm 147


John’s Gospel begins with these words, which are simple and yet profound. We are told three times that the Word ‘was’ – not that the Word ‘came into being’ or ‘became’, but simply that the Word ‘was’. There is no beginning for the Word; the Word was always there, and always will be. This is the same divine presence who is called "I am who I am" (Exodus 3:14). The words sum up God’s unending being.

There is a contrast between the Word, who ‘was’, and all the things that ‘came into being’ through the Word. This recalls the language of Genesis 1, where God speaks creation into being. The Genesis account tells of God looking at creation and affirming that it was good. Here the relationship is different. The Word came to his own, but his own did not welcome him (v. 11). The Word is also the Light, John tells us; but the Light shines over the darkness, which tries to overcome it. There is a tension, perhaps even a conflict, between the Word in eternal light and the things that came into being, whose being will also come to an end.

At the beginning of another uncertain, anxious year, it would be easy to succumb to the numbness and hopelessness of a cycle of life that leads from creation to destruction, from birth to death. What is the point of coming into being – what is it all for? John’s answer to that is simple: the point of it all is to come into a relationship with the Word, who was, and is, and is to come. He speaks of the ‘witness’, the man sent from God whose name was John, and invites us to accept his testimony and invitation to believe in the eternal Word, eternal Light, so that our transitory being is caught up in his eternity and we become children of God.


To Ponder:

  • In ‘normal times’ this is Covenant Sunday, when Methodists say to God "I am no longer my own but yours" as part of the Covenant Prayer. This sits alongside John’s language of becoming "children of God". How can we live as children of God in the world of 2022?
  • Who has been a "witness to testify to 'the light" (v. 7) for you in your Christian experience? Who is there for whom you might be a witness, testifying to the light for them?


Eternal God, help me to hear your living Word, turn to your living Light, and commit to being one of your children, through the life-giving grace of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

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