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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Friday, December 21, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | John 1:1-5

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. (NRSV)

As I write this I’ve just returned from a week in Paris, where my husband and I spent much time in various churches, some of them built almost one thousand years ago. Each one of those churches told the story of our Christian faith. The recounting of the story, most often with stained glass, always started with the beginning of time and the story of creation and continued through the birth of Jesus and the works of the apostles. The story never stopped there but continued, pointing to the end of time and the final revelation. In unique and particular ways, each one of those churches may as well have been proclaiming what the first verse of this text proclaims: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” God exists in and through time. God has existed from the beginning of time until the end of time. God existed before time began. God will exist when time is no more.

In all of those churches, stained glass told the story. If the sun was shining, depending on the time of day, those stories told through stained glass were easier to discern. The light shining through illuminated them. The windows could be dazzling. On other days, when it was cloudy or close to dusk, it was hard to see what the panels of stained glass were trying to say. But nevertheless, you knew the story was there, illumined or not. The story existed seen or unseen. “The light shines in the darkness (no matter what the conditions are in the world) and the darkness did not overcome it.”

Light of the World, thank you for your imprint on this world and on my life. Thank you for the expanse of time and the power of knowing you have existed in the beginning and will continue to exist forever. Thank you for the story which is The Story of All Stories. And thank you for people who have told the story, with glass and with stone, with toil and with love, with wonder and with awe. Amen.

Written by Judith L. Watt, Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care

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