The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
In John 1:1-5 the author introduces us to several important ideas which will remain with us throughout the writing. First, we meet this pre-existing “logos.” While many translations will render this in English as “word,” we need to recall that the primary meaning has more to do with a reasoning, a reckoning, or an accounting. The term is often used in the context of accountancy or logic, the discipline which draws its name directly from this “logos.” The net result of the assertion is that God is the one by whom all can be explained and who accounts for everything. What do we find out about God in this passage?
- He is the uncreated beginning point of all else (v. 2)
- He is the creator of all things (v. 3)
- He sustains life, defined here as “the light of humans” (v. 4)
The final word in the passage is also a difficult one. It can mean “grasp” in every sense of the word. It is used when someone arrests someone else. It could describe someone holding onto a rope or a ladder. It could imply mental understanding of a concept. It can indicate placing something into submission. It strikes me that the author is slightly vague on purpose. The reader asks, “What does that really mean?” This leads to heightened interest and a desire to continue reading.
As we walk through John’s Gospel, we’ll see if we can grasp this light shining in the darkness.
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