Day Four: The Glory of Self-Giving Love

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it…

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:1-5, 10-13)

“‘In the beginning was the Word.’ I suspect there are many people who, if they know no other sentences in the New Testament, know that one—because they have heard it in carol services, in parish churches, or on the radio, every Christmas. Very few perhaps realize what John is doing when he starts his Gospel with those words…

“[J]ust as the book of Genesis begins with the making of the world, with the crown of creation being the shaping of man and woman in God’s image, so this extraordinary poem of new creation in John 1.1-18 reaches its climax with that wonderful statement in verse 14: ‘the Word became flesh.’ How else could the living God express himself within the world? What else would he become if not a human being, made in his image? John goes on to say that we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s only Son, the perfect reflection of the glory of God…

“This glory was revealed supremely in Jesus’ giving of his own life as the sacrifice for sins of the world, enthroned on the cross… when we look at this Jesus, and above all at Jesus crucified for the sins of the world, then we see the true nature of the Father’s heart. It is a heart of glory, the glory of self-giving love.” [NT Wright, Reflecting the Glory, p. 86]

– JP

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