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John1 - In the beginning…

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 
 
Do you ever think about what was here before the Big Bang? Before that, scientists generally say, there was nothing. Then nothing exploded – eventually becoming the universe, the earth, sea, land, birds, fish, plants, animals and people. But what was really here before the Big Bang?

John, the first-century eye-witness of Jesus, starts his rather special biography of Jesus by writing “In the beginning was the Word…” “Word”? First of all, what on earth is a “word” – as opposed to the word? A “word” is meaning, instruction, order, description, truth. A “word” can be very powerful. 

John explains that “the Word” (that is, meaning, instruction, reality, truth) was “with God”. God was the one who had with and within himself: meaning, instruction, reality, and truth - before the Big Bang.

In fact, John writes, this “Word” – this meaning, instruction, reality and truth – was God – “in the beginning” and before Big Bang.

That one was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and apart from him not one thing came to be that has come to be.

So, before Big Bang, when there was nothing, "the Word" was there. What we see around us today – through the most powerful telescopes and microscopes along with the unseen forces we know are here today - was all made by God.

 
Moreover, for the avoidance of all doubt, nothing exists today, or has ever existed, that has “come to be" apart from through him.

‘A dead God is the creation of men; a living God is the creator of men.’ (Anon.)
Perhaps wrongly, I can visualise how something can come out of nothing. I imagine nothing being separated into things that exist and things that have negative existence, like black holes.

In him was life, and the life was the light of the people. 

This “Word” that was – and is – God, besides being “the Word” (that is, meaning, instruction, reality and truth), had within himself – “life” as part and parcel of his being.

Our world is teeming with “life”. Bacteria, viruses (most of these, unlike Covid-19, are beneficial to human beings), plants, insects, fish, birds, animals, humans – all have “life”. The source of that “life” is "the Word” that is God.

“The life was the light of humanity.” What, on earth, does this mean? One of the most ancient of books in the world is Genesis, the first book in the Bible. It has been preserved by Israel, the ancient people of God over several millennia.

 
It records that the LORD God made humans “in his image”. The “light” that humans have and animals do not have is seen in our abilities like self-awareness, perception of being and of reality, understanding, logic, morality. This “light” comes from God above because “In him was life …In the beginning”.

‘The existence of God means that human existence is not absurd.’ (Peter S Williams)
And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

On several occasions in recent weeks I’ve asked folk what they might have learned during the Covid-19 lockdown. Two said that they had become more aware than ever of the corruption – the darkness – in the world.

They cited not only the manipulation of truth for political ends but also the harmful deeds of those with power over others to bless themselves at the expense of others, even of their own spouses and children.

That there is “darkness” in this world is undoubted. It’s in the JEP, on Channel News, on Facebook and on Twitter. But the “light” that “shines in the darkness” has not been extinguished – “not overcome” - by that darkness. The “light” which remains in us is from “the Word”. It is the residual “light of life” within human beings, made in the “image of God”.

How deep is this “darkness” for you? Has it tried to “overcome” your “light”?

 
Sinner Syvret

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