Part of the Incarnate Christ
Listen to this daily worship
John 1: 1-18 (NRSVA)
1 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.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9 The 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. 11 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13 who 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. 15 (John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.”’) 16 From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
Yes, this passage is poetry. To the modern mind, poetry is not reality, because the contemporary attitude to the words of poems is largely ‘instrumental’ – you make use of words to ‘get an effect’ rather than to bear witness to something real. That’s why the arts lose out badly in a recession in the Western world, because they are not part of the conversation about the real world. Paradoxically, they lose out also under dictatorships, but that is because (as Plato recognised) poetry can cause revolution.
However, in Jesus Christ, God has brought science and art, poetry and reality, heaven and earth, firmly together, and the dark horses of hell will not pull them apart. The Word became flesh, and lived among us. Jesus is the poetry that earth offers to God, our own flesh choreographed to dance on the floor of the world, or maybe we should say the roof of the planet. This poetry is close to God’s heart. And it comes back into our bloodstream when we receive Christ.
Make me receptive, Lord God, to all that you are offering me today. Grant me an open mind, and open heart. Help me to use words, and pictures, and actions in good faith, and to good effect.
May the arts be free and well supported by the rulers of this world. May they bear witness to what is true, what needs to change, what needs to remain.
Thank you that Jesus Christ, so close to your heart, full of grace and truth, has made God known to us so clearly. May his life and love be the poetry in our veins. Amen.
LENT FOCUS WEEK 2: PRAISE
This week we focus on ‘praise’, our human response to God. Reflect on different ways you could praise God this week, perhaps through music, art, writing, or nature. See if you can take time to consciously praise each day this week.