The Nazareth Page- A gospel meditation for your home
December 30, 2018 – First Sunday after Christmas
(Holy Family Sunday) John 1:1-18
“In the beginning … “What a way to start a narrative! And when St. John the Evangelist uses the word beginning, he’s not talking about a beginning in the ordinary sense of the word. He’s talking about the very beginning of EVERYTHING. Before there was “the first day” or the Big Bang. Before there was anything at all. Before there was any history to anything! Try to get your head around that one. I know I can’t. Still, in the judgment of St. John, that was how to best begin his gospel. With the wonderful mystery of creation.
And what exactly was there before “the beginning?” I guess we can say, “The Word.” The Word of God. The one we would eventually call “the Son of God,” the second person of the Blessed Trinity. Later, we will learn about the Holy Spirit. But here, just focus on the Word. The First Word of God. The word that we will eventually learn is the word, “Love.” The Word that fully expresses the loving, tender, compassionate, merciful nature of God.
Through that word “all things came into being.” Again, a very challenging idea, a truth that should stretch our minds. For instance, this suggests that God’s immense creation was not constructed out of pre-existing anything. It came out of NOTHING. Or to use a somewhat poetic phrase: It came from God’s heart.
Creation was above all else, an act of God’s love. What we call “creation” came forth from the loving relationship between God the Father and God the Son. It wasn’t a random act – as some scientists say. It wasn’t from all eternity as Einstein suggested. It was based in a specific decision made by God and when God articulated that decision in a Word, creation came into being. In the language of John’s gospel for today, all things were made though the Word of God.
This is something powerful to think about at the conclusion of this year. Just as soon as this year ends, another new year begins. Some of us will make New Year’s resolutions. We will try to do better in the new year. Does God have to also make new resolutions? I don’t think so.
One thing we can say about God as inspired by our Christian faith. At the very beginning, God loved everything into existence. Because of the way creation works, it takes time for most everything to develop. Much of what we see today was not there at the very beginning. What was there, however, was God complete love and from that love we were given life and promised that we would always be loved by God.
- David M. Thomas, PhD