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Prepare yourself to discern what is and what is not of God today. Still yourself so you can hear how God is calling you.


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John 1:1-18 (NRSV)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. 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.

(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.’”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 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.


Reflect

Today, on the last day of the season of Christmas, we consider the first few verses of John’s gospel. John calls Christ “the Word.” Is that what you mean when you say that phrase? Do you envision Christ when you hear that phrase? What role does John say “the Word” played in the Creation? In verses 6-8, do you think John is referring to himself or to John the Baptizer, whom he introduces later? John says “the Word” incarnate was “full of grace and truth.” When you imagine Jesus, is this what you picture? How do you define grace? Is the grace Jesus was full of the same kind of grace that “we have all received”? In verse 17 John mentions both the law and grace. Does he seem to say the two are equally important, or that one is more important; and if the latter, which is more important? In verse 18 John says it is the Son who makes God known. Do you think he means Jesus is the only way to know about God, or does he mean Jesus is the only way to know God fully (or at least as fully as we can)?


Pray

I have more questions than answers about you, God. I can’t fully understand you. I can’t even come close. But I believe in you, God. And I believe you. By your grace, may my faith lead to understanding. Amen.

Go with God.

Picture of Andy McClung

Andy McClung

Andy McClung is a minister in West Tennessee Presbytery who is blessed to serve the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at the presbyterial, synodic, and denominational levels. He is half of a Cumberland Presbyterian clergy couple with Tiffany Hall McClung. They live in Memphis, Tennessee, with their two children.
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