John 1:9-14 (The Message)
The Life-Light was the real thing:
Every person entering Life
he brings into Light.
He was in the world,
the world was there through him,
and yet the world didn’t even notice.
He came to his own people,
but they didn’t want him.
But whoever did want him,
who believed he was who he claimed
and would do what he said,
He made to be their true selves,
their child-of-God selves.
These are the God-begotten,
The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.
Becoming a Child of God
Years ago on the deck of the USS Universe, when I was a struggling atheist who had been invited on a trip around the world by my girlfriend, I recall wondering if there was “something more” beyond an informed scientific/psychological approach to living.
Just four months later, I was faced with a moral crisis involving my girlfriend. Her son, 17, had a tragic gymnastics accident that left him a paraplegic. She became much less available to me emotionally as she struggled to cope with situations that would have overwhelmed many mothers. I did not do the right thing; perhaps I was unable to do the right thing. I dated another woman.
I wept as I explained my situation to my Christian friend I’d known since crib days. She lovingly listened – on several occasions – and put me in touch with Gene, a loving pastor at her church. My boss at work shared his staunch Christian faith with me. This coming together of support got my attention in a big way. To my skeptical mind there was, without a doubt, some pervasive, benevolent force at work now in my life.
I started reading the Bible and was blown away as I happened upon the opening to John’s gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Now that is profound to me. This was a big intellect explaining the big picture. It affected me in a way that the Bible had never affected me before. (I had learned the 10 commandments, the ordered names of the books of the Bible, and the “blessed are ye’s…..” in Mr Stevenson’s 5th grade Sunday school class.)
A few sentences beyond John 1:1, in today’s passage, I learned that even I could become a child of God, despite having renounced God. For some months I went to two different churches each Sunday, shed lots of good tears, eventually joined a church, sang in a choir, and was baptized by immersion (in a Methodist Church!). My story continued, and yet continues, but that’s enough for now.Rick Kramer-Howe
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the many opportunities I have, both seen and unseen, for learning mature loving. May I “touch” others in a mostly positive way. Forgive my great array of inactions. Let me act my strengths when I am feeling my weaknesses. Allow me to more greatly appreciate the joy this world gives and will keep giving. Amen.