by Dave Schweizer
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
14 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.
For me, the beginning of John’s Gospel is a figurative, conceptual, and powerful description of how we should think about Jesus. John doesn’t provide a narration for the empirical events surrounding Jesus’ nativity. Rather, he gives us a succinct story conveying a purpose: The Word, which was with God at the beginning, and is God, became flesh and made his dwelling among us… to bring us life and light…grace and truth. As I read John’s opening words, the season of Christmas becomes a time for reflection on the “truth” and “light” aspects of Jesus’ ministry: he came into the world to teach us how to understand God and God’s will, and how to act as people of God. During other parts of the church year we focus on specifics — the meaning and takeaways regarding individual events. For this season, John’s words provide inspiration to consider, and celebrate, Jesus’ life in its entirety.