1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life,* and the life was the light of all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
In words echoing the creation story in Genesis 1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” John’s Gospel begins with words about God’s new creation through his Word. John begins: “In the beginning was the Word.” Just as a word, whether spoken or written, reveals a person’s thought or purposes, so God reveals himself to us through his Word.
We learn here in John’s Gospel that in eternity past, long before time ever began, there was the eternal Word. The Word has always been. And this Word was “with God,” yet distinct and different from the Father. He is one with God, equal with God, yet separate from him.
Light years and eons before Bethlehem’s manger, the Word was God’s agent in the creation of all things. It was through the eternal Word that God brought forth life and through the Word that God spoke forth light: “Let there be light. And there was light.”
Just as God created the heavens and the earth through his Word, so it is through the same Word that God is bringing forth his new creation in you and me. The eternal Word not only creates life, but creates a new quality, a new dimension of life. The Word makes us sharers in the very life that is God’s life, or eternal life.
And the very life of God that the Word is bringing, “is the light of all people.” The world fights against God’s light and resists the light, but the light shines on unconquered, “and the darkness did not overcome it.”
Today is the winter solstice, the time in the northern latitudes when it is the shortest day and the longest night. From ancient times the coming night has been fraught with significance and fear for many peoples. As the sun sinks to its lowest point in the sky, people have lit lamps to ward off evil spirits. They have burned logs in the hope of making the sun shine brighter. After the solstice when the days began to lengthen, the Romans would celebrate Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, or the “Birthday of the Invincible Sun.”
From those ancient times Christians have fearlessly proclaimed Jesus as God’s invincible light come into the darkness of the world. Jesus is God’s true and unconquered Son! It is his birthday we celebrate! He is the light shining in the darkness, and the world will never be the same.
For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. II Corinthians 4:6
Read, Reflect, Respond, and Rest with both of today’s scripture texts
and today’s devotional.
Today’s Moments of Diaphany
- an answer to prayer
- evidence of his love and care
- evidence of his creative power and wisdom
- his help to do his work