Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Reading #2 - John 1:1-5

I love the different ways the four different gospel accounts start. 
  • Matthew starts with his list of the ancestors of Jesus, and then takes us into the 'traditional' Christmas story".
  • Mark is so desperate to get on with the action (as he is with much of the rest of his gospel) that he takes us straight to John the baptist preparing the way for the ministry of Jesus, with not a word about the birth of Jesus, wise men, shepherds or inns which are fully booked.
  • Luke, in his historical fact finding style, tells us why he is writing his gospel and then takes us through the Christmas story. 
But John, again as he does with much of the rest of his gospel, takes a totally different approach. He begins with these words:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John deliberately takes us back to the very beginning of the Bible, echoing the opening of Genesis 1 - "In the beginning God created ......". He wants us to understand that the story of Jesus predates everything else. That Jesus was there in the very beginning. He was with God and He was God. That He was before the creation of Genesis 1. In fact that creation was only possible because He existed. 

The other gospels take us back. Matthew through his genealogy takes us back to Abraham. Mark introducing John takes us back to the words of Isaiah. But only John takes us back to before the creation of the world. Reminding us that when we get caught up in Jesus we become part of a much bigger story. A part of the story of which all other stories are merely a short chapter or a footnote. A part of a story which predates the creation of the world, and which will continue for all of eternity.

So this Christmas allow His story to become your story. Don't allow yourself to be stressed about whether the turkey is going to be ready on time, whether you got the right present for Aunt Agatha, about how much mess the Christmas tree is making as it sheds all it's needles or how much noise the rest of the family are making. There is a much bigger story, and if you're a follower of Jesus Christ then you're intimately wrapped up in it.

Simon.

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