If you did not participate in worship on Sunday, you may not know that we will be working out way through John’s gospel this year. This week, we begin with the first 18 verses of the gospel. These are rich and deep words; we really need to read through it several times before we can begin to wrap our mind around what John is writing. As you prepare for worship on Sunday, let me encourage you to read the passage. I will include it below from the NTE (New Testament for Everyone) version.
(John 1:1-18 NTE) In the beginning was the Word. The Word was close beside God, and the Word was God. In the beginning, he was close beside God. All things came into existence through him; not one thing that exists came into existence without him. Life was in him, and this life was the light of the human race. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man called John, who was sent from God. He came as evidence, to give evidence about the light, so that everyone might believe through him. He was not himself the light, but he came to give evidence about the light. The true light, which gives light to every human being, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to anyone who did accept him, he gave the right to become God’s children; yes, to anyone who believed in his name. They were not born from blood, or from fleshly desire, or from the intention of a man, but from God. And the Word became flesh, and lived among us. We gazed upon his glory, glory like that of the father’s only son, full of grace and truth. John gave evidence about him, loud and clear. ‘This is the one’, he said, ‘that I was speaking about when I told you, “The one who comes after me ranks ahead of me, because he was before me.” ' Yes; it’s out of his fullness that we have all received, grace indeed on top of grace. The law, you see, was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus the Messiah. Nobody has ever seen God. The only-begotten God, who is intimately close to the father – he has brought him to light.