In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
// John 1:1
How did all this begin?
This opening verse of the Gospel of John mirrors the opening words of the Bible in Genesis 1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” John intends to make it clear that this Word that created all things, right from the start of everything, is Jesus. You could translate this word ‘Word’ to ‘the meaning’. So you could say, “in the beginning was the meaning and the meaning was with God and the meaning was God.” This Word in Greek is Logos. It is the notion of divine self-expression. This is good news, in a world searching for meaning. We ask questions like, why are we here? Why are we on this earth? Am I an accident? Is there any purpose to this life? Right at the beginning, before we even had these thoughts, there was an answer, and it still is the answer to these important and eternally significant questions. The meaning of life from the very start has always been the same, it has never changed and it will never change.
It is the human heart that searches for this Word. We desire a word to define who we are. We need a word to locate us, to identify us, to give us meaning. In our search for meaning we have come up short, we have looked under every rock, looked behind every door, asked every wise man and still we find our hearts empty of meaning. If Hamlet went looking for his creator and the writer of his meaning, Shakespeare, it wouldn’t matter how intelligent Hamlet was, how successful he became in his own play or how much power he acquired – Hamlet would have no way of truly understanding the meaning of his life or who his creator was. The only way Hamlet could come to know Shakespeare is if Shakespeare wrote himself into his own story with Hamlet.
God wrote himself into this great story full of wonder, trial, mystery, tragedy, beauty, love, failure and victory. There was no other way for any of us to know why we are truly here. We could have our theories, we could search for meaning, but unless the Author wrote Himself into the story of humanity and creation we would not come to know the meaning of life.
Jesus didn’t write Himself into this story as a overpowering King or an all-powerful President, but He entered the world as an unwanted baby – a baby born into an unlikely part of the world in an unlikely time of history in an unknown town in an uninhabited farm stable. If the creator of all things wanted to get our attention the way we try to get attention He did a horrible job. The meaning of life was hidden, out of sight, out of mind, so innocent, pure and vulnerable. Many overlooked it and still to this day disregard this unlikely ‘Word’. In these next 25 days may we not overlook this little baby but welcome Him afresh into our hearts and lives. May the coming of Christ change our families, church, marriages, identity, workplaces and the city around us as we each humble ourselves to welcome the baby, the unexpected meaning of life.
Praise be to God that from the very start God wrote Himself into this great story. We need not fear, this Word was there in the beginning and He is still with us today and forevermore. His name is Jesus.