A Calvin Theological Seminary Publication by Students & Alumni
In The Beginning

In The Beginning

We are in the season of Advent. What does this season hold for you this year? Perhaps it is a time of rejoicing at a new life opportunity, or at the ability to travel freely, visit with family or wait in expectant hopefulness for a promise of God to come to pass in your life. Or perhaps it’s the first year in several years that you have the sense of a true celebration in community. Perhaps you are grieving the loss of a loved one, or of fractured relationships or of “what was.” Yes, we have all been through a communal loss over the last two and a half years, whether we want to admit it or not. 

Let’s remember to turn our eyes to the One that promises us an abundance, that came to give life and give it to the full (John 10:10)! Let’s focus on and celebrate the Person who came in the flesh, who came to redeem our world and every person in it. The One who is making all things new.

“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 1:1-5)

As John starts his Gospel, he doesn’t start it with the genealogy of Jesus such as in Matthew, or with the words and songs of angels as the coming and birth of John the Baptist and Jesus are foretold and written about in detail in the opening chapters of Luke.  No, John begins as Genesis does.  In the beginning…  The words in Genesis 1:1 refer to the beginning of time itself, whereas John 1:1 goes beyond the historical conception of the beginning of time to say that the Word “was”, before even time began.  John tells us that the Word, Christ, was uncreated before the beginning of time, He is God, and He is with God.  Separate persons yet united as one God.  All of this depth of knowledge and more in the first sentence in the book of John.  That’s powerful stuff.

I want to focus in on the word, “word” in this first sentence. The Greek word logos had special significance for both Greeks and Jews in John’s time.  In Greek philosophy, logos was an important term, often referring to the power of reason which was the basis for all creation.  For Jews, God spoke His logos, His word, to create the world and to transform His people.   So, John would have chosen his words purposefully, not only in the beginning of his book, but throughout the Gospel that he wrote so that what he wrote could speak into the lives of different people groups.  People who viewed both culture and religion from completely different vantage points.  

I read recently of an eight-year-old girl, who when asked why Jesus was called the Word, said, “because Jesus is all God wanted to say to us.”  There, in an eight-year-old’s words, is the basis of our faith.  Jesus.  All God wanted to say to us. 

So, let’s remember this Advent season, the One who was, before the conception of the world, before the conception of time itself.  The One who, though Himself is uncreated, created all that is, that ever was and that ever will be, including you and me.  Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.  He is life and that life is the light of the world.  The light in the darkness.  The light that no darkness has ever or will ever overcome.  Jesus is the life and the light that no darkness can overcome!  Receive that today.  No matter what our earthly longing holds, how deep the pain, how profound the grief, how great the loss, Jesus came for those things.  He came to shine light into these dark places because no darkness can overcome the light that is the breath of life itself.  The Light that has come to earth to set us free.  Put your hope and turn your longing this season to the One who knows you, who sees you and understands what you are going through.  Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.

Jennifer Heidinga


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