Word Up Y'all! Reflections on John 1
Word up Y’all! (All my high school friends are like totally geeking that I titled my Bible Study, Word Up Yall!)
Reflections on John 1 from an 80’s Gal
Thanks for going on this adventure with me!
Today’s reflection is based on John 1: 1-14.
The Word Became Flesh
I got a degree in English because I love words and I love communicating. My favorite class in college was The History of the English Language. I loved using the Oxford English Dictionary and researching word history. (You can trace the word, fart all the way back to Sanskrit!) I’m also obsessed with symbolism and I live for clever sarcasm. My hobby is artfully hand-lettering words. So yeah, I LOVE WORDS. I have been told, often, that I use too many of them! My blog posts are too long and I talk too much!
But I can't help it!!! Words are super cool. They are what connect us to other people. They convey ideas, emotions, dreams, logic, facts, beauty, and everything!
So, it’s pretty awesome to think about why John started his record of Jesus by saying that he is “the Word”. It’s kind of one of those holy sounding phrases that we just skim over* and think, “That’s another title for Jesus: Christ, Messiah, Redeemer, Immanuel, WORD…”
Take a moment and think about the significance of this title: Jesus is the logic of God, the communication, the wisdom, the emotion, the humor, the vision…
Jesus is everything that God wants to say to us! The WORD became flesh.
As you continue to read John, think about every story of Jesus as a revelation of God’s character, wisdom, and all that he wants to communicate with us.
Jesus is the Light of the world
The rest of this passage is pretty mind blowing too.
First of all, we could spend the rest of our lives trying to wrap our minds around the reality of God being God, how powerful and awesome he has to be in order to have created everything.
I hope you get as excited as I do about the imagery of Jesus being the light combined with the idea of him being the WORD!
Dealing with who we Really are
Light gives us the opportunity to SEE. I personally think this is the most awesome part of being a Christian. In my personal life, I have struggled with a lot of personal shortcomings. I’m a selfish, bitter, unorganized, anxious person at my core. When I spend time with God, I see these things clearly and he loves me in the middle of all my crazy messiness. And the most amazing thing he does is give me the power to change those things and get better!
This little nugget of truth, that the light reveals things, is a very uncomfortable reality for Americans. I remember sharing with a Bible study group, that I needed prayer because I was extremely lazy in certain areas of my life. Every lady in the Bible study called me or met with me personally to tell me that I was not lazy and that I didn’t need to change. They all told me that I needed to learn to love myself and accept how much God loved me. Not one of them asked me about my struggle. It was actually really, really, bad.
During that lazy point in my life, I just had a lot of messes that I didn’t want to deal with. If someone was coming over, I shoved stuff behind the couch, in the closet, in a box, drawer, plant, in my bra, under a table, kids’ backpacks, neighbor’s yard, wherever, but I never dealt with the mess. Eventually, my walk-in closet got to be such a mess that it was impossible to even get to the back half of it.
I was physically dealing with messes in my house the way I figuratively dealt with messes in ME. I pushed stuff out of the line of sight and pretended it was OK. That was what I learned from the ladies in my Bible study, I wasn't supposed to be struggling with stuff if I was a Christian. So I focused on making myself feel OK about all of the un-OK messiness in my life...which works, for a while...
Only eventually, all of those things you shove out of sight come out. The physical mess came out when I came home to house guests who my husband had let in and they embarrassingly had no place to sit!
My other messes came out in a whole lot of bitterness, hurtful arguments with the people closest to me, and a distrust of people which resulted in me isolating myself from friends.
Thankfully, Jesus came into the world to light the way to truth. When we accept that truth, we get to be children of God. And he works in our life. His light reveals those areas where we need to change. I love that when I spend time with God, I become painfully aware of my shortcomings AND I become aware of my value and how loved I am. That beautiful combo gives me the desire and the power to become a better person.
I wish that I was a better writer. I wish I could reveal to you how amazing the concepts of Jesus being the Word and the Light are. I wish you could see all that I have seen and more. My sincere prayer for you as you read this is that you will see a glimpse of how awesome God is and you will want to know him more.
I’d love to hear from you! Message me on FB or email me.
*I call this phenomenon, "being church blind". It means that you are so culturally, familiar with a concept that you no longer even think about it. I got it from those Febreeze ads that talk about being nose blind to smells that you live with.
I plan to add to this at least weekly. As time and my organizational skills allow!
Study aids that I use:
I love to read different versions of the Bible. I depend on Biblegateway.com
For intense study of a verse, I highly recommend reading the Amplified version. It’s a little more tedious to read this version, so I wouldn’t recommend it for quick reading. The Amplified version attempts to include all of the subtleties and nuances of words and phrases that do not directly translate into English well.
For more on Bible translations, click here