Weekly Bible Devotional
“The Bible: Jesus Is Lord”
March 7, 2021
Scripture for Sunday: John 1:1-5
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
Notes on the Text:
Each of the Gospels tries to convey to us the good news of Jesus Christ in a unique way. John’s Gospel presents Jesus to us as the creative Word of God which was spoken to bring creation into being. Jesus the manifestation of that Word in human flesh is also the way God renews creation. In Jesus we see how God is a part of our experience. In fact, Jesus shows us the unity between humanity and the divine.
The great themes of scriptures which we have been exploring in this sermon series are strong reminders about the importance of our return to a sense of unity with God. The life of Jesus is a witness to that unity. Jesus showed us the fullness of God’s love through his way of love, self-giving, and challenge to the cultures of dominance in the world. When we claim him as our Lord, we claim him as our guide on that journey.
The words “in the beginning” in John 1:1 echo the words found in Genesis 1:1, “In the Beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” By using the same phrase, the author of John is letting us know that Jesus was renewing what God has created; renewing God’s work of creation. Even though humanity often lives with a sense of separation from God and from one another, Christ comes to us in human flesh to show us that original unity which cannot be broken.
The energy of love that is at the heart of all of creation is often diverted by the powers of hate and destruction in the world. Yet, this energy always finds a new way to be manifested and to redirect humanity and creation on the path of love. Love always finds a way to redeem and to heal that which may seem broken. Love only through loving means. That is the way Jesus lived and brought renewal. He never succumbed to the temptation to use ego power to bring about his vision for the world. He always used the power of love as the path and the means to the great end of renewing and healing creation.
The darkness or brokenness of our lives and of our world can never overcome the light of love. The challenge is to stay resolute in our love. Jesus leaves us an incredible way for that. We may admire him and think very highly of him. We may even venerate and worship him, but unless we allow him to be our daily companion and guide to accessing our souls, the image of God in us and in others, his way of love will always be an ideal and not a reality in our lives.
The daily practices of prayer, of kindness, of service, of letting go, of forgiveness, of affirmation, and of silence that help us to see the hidden divine treasure in ourselves and in our neighbors. The Word has to take flesh in each of us. The incarnation of God is not about some distant event in the past. It is about each of us experiencing it anew. Jesus started a movement by training his followers in the way of non-violent and non-coercive love. Our invitation is to do the same. We are invited to be intentional each day to let the consciousness of Christ take root in our lives.
Richard Rohr writes, “Christianity’s true and unique story line has always been incarnation. That means that the spirit nature of reality (the spiritual, the immaterial, the formless) and the material nature of reality (the physical, that which we can see and touch) are one. They have always been one, ever since the Big Bang took place 13.7 billion years ago. The incarnation did not just happen when Jesus was born, although that is when we became aware of the human incarnation of God in Jesus. It seemingly took until 2,000 years ago for humanity to be ready for what Martin Buber (1878-1965) called an I/Thou relationship with God. But matter and spirit have been one since ‘the beginning,’ ever since God decided to manifest himself/herself as creation.”
You Are Prayer by Edward Hays:
You are prayer. You are a special and sacred word of God made flesh. To pronounce your own unique word is to pray the most beautiful — if not the holiest — of prayers.
A Prayer for Lent by Edward Hays:
May you live these Lenten days
not in purple penitential denial
but in the joyfulness of the
intimate embrace of your Blessed God.
May you hear on the Lenten winds
your Beloved calling you daily
to go apart from your routine time
to spend desert time with your God.
Then your heart can be freshly aflame
with a lover’s delight in your God.
May you have a blessed and grace-filled
Lenten season so as to be a new person
in Christ in alleluia joy on Holy Easter.