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Monday, January 9, 2017

Today's Scripture Reading | John 1:1–17

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. (NRSV)

It comes around at the turn of the year, without fail. “In the beginning,” this origin-story-yet-kind-of-a-poem from the beginning of the fourth Gospel. And every time, I cast my mind back to the beginning of the previous year, just as a small exercise, to see what I can remember, as if to see how far toward “the beginning” I could actually recall.

It always feels muddy. Disputes arise in my mind over the details. Even Timehop, the app on my phone that shows me pictures I took exactly one year ago today, doesn’t help all that much. Mostly I feel sad at having to be reminded of that day at the ice skating rink, that I’d already forgotten it.

The good news is that the truth of The Beginning does not depend on our ability to remember it properly. The Gospel writer proclaims in epic terms that “the Word was with God,” even that “the Word was God.” The power of God is loose in the world through things we remember, like the elevated hearts and spirits of thousands of Christmas Eve worshipers singing together, as well as in things we don’t, things we cannot claim to have been part of.

Still, The Beginning is there—a divine point of reference to ground our knowledge of ourselves and of God. It stands as a reminder, even in the darkest of times, that there has always been light in the world that darkness could not extinguish. As in The Beginning, so today.

God of The Beginning, before anything was, you were. You are. You will be. Hold us to that truth as you kindle in us that light which the darkness cannot overcome. Amen.

Written by Rocky Supinger, Associate Pastor for Youth Ministry

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