Friday, December 13, 2019

13. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him.

The Word of God was “in the world” says today’s phrase. John has already told us that the Word was with God, and was God, and had created the world, but now he is in that world he had created. This was an idea which was very hard for many people schooled in Greek philosophy to understand. How could the Creator also be something created – a flesh and blood baby? Christian theologians have tied their brains in knots through the centuries over this question too.  But John doesn’t try to explain this – this Prologue is more poetry than theology. The point he is making is that there is no great gulf dividing God from what he has made. The word for ‘world” which John is “cosmos”. It is the whole created order, everything there is. And all of it, says John, is touched by God, sustained by his power, blessed with his love. Elizabeth Barrett Browning said, in her poem “Aurora Leigh” “Earth’s crammed with heaven/ And every common bush afire with God;/But only he who sees, takes off his shoes, /The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries,.” Like Moses, who was told to take off his shoes when he heard God’s voice in the Burning Bush because the ground he trod on was holy, we are called to be aware of the presence of God in our world.

How aware are you of God’s presence in your life? What could you do to open your eyes to it? (Prayer? Bible reading? Service of others? Receiving Communion?)
Are there places or situations you think of or have described as "god-forsaken"?
Why is that? In the light of this verse, where might God inbe present in them?

Stop somewhere ordinary today for a few minutes – in the garden, in the shopping centre, in the playground, at work - and say quietly to yourself “God is here”. I wonder how it changes the way you feel about that place?

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