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. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. – John 1:1-9, NRSV
Today, May 6th, we commemorate St John the Evangelist. John through his Gospel defines himself as a Christ witness. He is “the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them” (21:24). And he did so with purpose: “these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name” (20:31). John’s Gospel opens with poetic beauty and from the very first verse, he prompts us to see the truth, to the facts he is an eyewitness for us to come to believe.
“In the beginning,” this phrase takes our whole life back to Genesis 1:1, but in fact the ‘there and then’ becomes the ‘here and now’. He tells us plainly from the very first verses that God’s Wisdom (God’s Sophia), embodied in Jesus Christ, came to us in a particular place in time and history, to reveal to us the infinite grace and the glory of God. Wisdom 8:13 explains to us that “because of her I shall have immortality, and leave an everlasting remembrance to those who come after me”. In Jesus we find life, eternal life. Furthermore, from the beginning, witnessing the life in Christ is for others to believe.
The ‘beginnings’ are only possible from God’s wisdom in our life, God’s presence in our world and in the entire world. The relationships between everything he made, our interconnectedness with everything that exists, with the whole cosmos, physical and spiritual, is based in our interconnectedness in Christ, and such relationship is our testimony. John’s Gospel has been my ‘reset button’ every morning to start “in the beginning” and center my day in Christ, because “the true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world” (1:9). John gave us the key to seeing God in all human beings and in all creation.
In these first verses we can also see John’s characteristic dualism, although he is telling us the basic truths beyond its symbolism; he is telling us that we can only see the light in contrast with the darkness. The conflict between good and evil has always existed; nonetheless John gives us the certitude that “the darkness did not overcome it” (1:5). This is the reason why I click on my reset button every morning. Even in our current challenging circumstances, I do see so many people around me that are witnessing to the light of God that it is actually impossible for darkness to prevail. Today, in my here and now, on John’s commemoration day, I bear witness through my faith, I testify to the light.
— Fresia Saborio
Diana Bouchard says:May 7, 2020 at 4:33 PM
Thank you, Fresia! John 1 is one of my favourite Bible passages also. In a few verses, it seems to encompass the whole world and all time. An inspiring post.