Advent 17 - Personal and Purposeful

DAY 17 - Personal and Purposeful
Read John 1:1-5, 9-14

Science can tell us a lot about how the universe began. It cannot tell us why it began. The Gospel of John makes four powerful claims about the universe’s beginning as it introduces us to Jesus.

Yesterday we read John’s claim that the universe began. Secondly he says that the universe’s beginning is personal. SomeONE, not someTHING, started it all. Of course, that’s more controversial than debating if the universe had a beginning! 

Why someone and not something? Because of the third thing John says: the universe has purpose. John grabs a loaded term from Greek language translated into English as “the Word.” It’s logos in Greek. Philosophers said the universe has order, structure, and signs of rational design. It looks like someONE thought it through and programmed it with purpose. John said, “Ah! That’s the Word of God, the wisdom of God! God speaks and - POOF! - things come into being!” Life isn’t a series of random events going nowhere.

But the most controversial thing John says is, “In the beginning: Jesus.” Jesus of Nazareth was before the beginning. Jesus began the beginning! Jesus is the Word of God giving purpose to life. 

Despite recycles rumors on the internet, power-hungry politicians centuries later did not invent Jesus as God to control people. Whoever “John” really is, he claims to be an eyewitness to the events of Jesus’s life. In his book Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, scholar Richard Bauckham argues that the Gospel of John has many signs of being solid eyewitness testimony. Later in 1 John 1, the same author says about Jesus, “We have seen his glory. We knew him up close and I’m convinced.” All this touches on the mystery of the Trinity: one God eternally existing as three equal persons. John doesn’t explain God’s three-person unity, he simply says the truth he’s experienced through Jesus.

Why does this matter?

It matters because you have a beginning. You were lovingly made for a purpose by the God we meet in Jesus Christ. Your existence is personal and purposeful. That’s proof God loves you!

You were made with purpose by a person, not a random force of nature. How might that belief change how you approach today?

God of grace, your eternal Word took flesh among us when Mary placed her life at the service of your will. Prepare our hearts for his coming again; keep us steadfast in hope and faithful in service, that we may receive the coming of his kingdom, for the sake of Jesus Christ the ruler of all, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. AMEN.
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