by David Creech
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
The strong affirmations about who Jesus is and what Jesus has done in the Gospel of John is often perplexing to me. In the Gospel of John we have the highest explicit christological affirmations—Jesus is the Word made flesh, the preexistent I Am, the only begotten of the Father. This Word made flesh is “lifted up” on the cross and in his death gives the Spirit who leads us in truth. How is such a tragedy seen with such hope?
The insistent hope of John’s Gospel is even more astounding when you look at what is going on behind the Gospel. John’s community is one in turmoil. This fledgling group of believers has been recently expelled from their parent community. The hurt of this break echoes throughout the Gospel. Even worse, there is growing factionalism in the community. Fellow believers in Jesus are now refusing hospitality to one another (apparently some problems in the church are very old). In spite of this hurt and strife, John’s Jesus still gives us some of the most beautiful exhortations to love one another.
As this Easter season draws to a close (hello 7th Sunday of Easter!) and our calendar drifts into the “ordinary” may we, like John’s Gospel, find the Word in broken and and fleshy places.
Look for beautiful broken things today. When you find something broken pause to reflect on the history and the beauty of it. Share the beauty you find with a friend.