John’s gospel talks a whole bunch about light. John’s narrative refers to Jesus as the light of the world, as does Jesus himself, several times through out the story.

The opening of John is basically a summation of what we talked about in yesterday’s blog.  John 1:1-5 tells us “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”

So, at the beginning of creation, only the Word existed. What is the Word?

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Lol jk.

Okay. Follow along with me. We’re going to do a bit of paralleling.

Genesis 1:1- When God began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth was without shape or form, it was dark over the deep sea, and God’s wind swept over the waters.
John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word…

Alright Genesis, what’s God’s wind?  Let’s keep going.

Genesis 1:26 – Then God said, “Let us make humanity in our image to resemble us so that they may take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and all the crawling things on earth.”
John 1:1 – …and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

So in the creation story, God has created everything except humans at this point. But when it is time to make humans, God says “let US make humanity in OUR image to resemble US.”

In the creation story, there is more than just God present.

Still following?

When we look at this account of creation, we see that God’s wind is present on the earth. In the 21st century, we call this wind by a different name: the Spirit. We have the Holy Spirit and God present in Genesis.

But then when we look at John, we see that the Word was present first. So let’s say for argument’s sake that “the Word” = “the Holy Spirit”. The Word (Spirit) was with God and the Word was God. We can infer that the Holy Spirit and God are connected. John then says “He was in the beginning with God.”

He who? The Holy Spirit? But the Holy Spirit is rarely given a gender in the Bible and when it is, it’s usually female… so who is he? Looking at the grammar, God is only referred to as God, not “he” (at least in this translation).

Let’s look back at John 1, starting in verse 3.
“All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.”

Now, I would never pretend to be an authority on the Trinity, or even hope to understand the Trinity, but I’m pretty sure that Genesis and John are saying the same thing here: before anything was created, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit existed together.

Just to recap, the Word = the Spirit, God = God, and he = Jesus. With that in mind, let’s read the first part of John all together again (I know, you didn’t sign up for Lectio Divina, but just go with me on this journey).

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

Jesus came into this world to shine light in the darkest corners of the Jewish world. He did not come to start a new religion, he came to create a new covenant with God’s chosen people. At the time of Jesus’ life, the Jewish leaders had become so corrupt that they were taxing the Jewish people out of house and home while they got more and more rich.

Not at ALL like the world we live in today. </sarcasm>

Darkness, as we discussed yesterday, can be a multitude of things. Genesis describes it as what comes before a life with Jesus. John describes it as sin and corruption. For me, darkness is anything that makes us feel distant from our God.

And Jesus won’t stand for it.

During this time of Lent, I hope that you remember that when you feel like you have nothing, God is waiting for you. When you feel lost and hopeless, God is calling to you. When you feel like you are wandering around in the dark, God is just about to turn on the light.

Because the darkness cannot overcome the light.

Just as sin and evil will never overcome good.
Or death overcome life.
Light will always win.

Be the light.

Peace.

 

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