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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Today’s Reading | John 1:1–18

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.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

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. (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ ”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known. (NRSV)


We spend our lifetime trying to understand God and God’s purpose for our world and what that means for our life. The first chapter of the Gospel of John shows the complexity yet the simplicity of God’s revelation to us: “In the beginning was the Word . . . with God . . . was God.” Confusing when we read that “through the Word was life, and the life was the light for all people,” yet the message seems clear that everything comes from God . . . including life itself. And God seems to be pretty inclusive: the life was the light for all people.

What a life-changing message. Even when we are slow to recognize or to welcome God’s revelation in our lives, nonetheless God is there shining his light on us . . . giving us life. And the “us” includes all people in this world. This bigger view of God and God’s reach gives hope that we can tackle anything through God, that even in what seem to be overwhelming challenges in this world, God is there. Grace upon grace.

Later the passage highlights how Jesus Christ has made God known to us. During this time of Lent, what would it look like for us to welcome and to recognize how his light is revealed in our lives? Beginning today, before we begin reacting to our busy schedules and the constant flood of instant messages, may we pause and ask God for help to live our life, even for just a minute, focusing on God’s light in our lives.


Thank you that even when I do not recognize or welcome your revelation in my life, you are there offering grace upon grace. I am thankful for your blessings and faithfulness. Amen.

Written by Karen Otto, member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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