“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1: 1-5
Have you ever run across someone who seemed completely cut off from God? Someone mired in darkness? You might call them any number of names, but the darkest of all is evil.
This passage from John directs us to see not the darkness in others, or in ourselves, but rather the light, the truth of the Word from which all of us and everything around us is made. It is a beautiful passage that speaks to the Genesis story in a way that is instructive to us all, regardless of whether we read Genesis as literal or allegorical.
John illumines a continuity of God’s presence in our lives, in all lives, in all creation. The Christ – the living Word – was one with God before creation, at creation, and at every point, time and place encompassing the constant re-creation of now that has lapsed between creation and the now in which you are reading this.
Through him all things were made. The same union of God and Word that created all creation and that made the Word incarnate in the human Jesus, also was the generative power that made you, and all around you. And, it made them too. Yes, them. Think of the “them” you least associate with God. Who do you associate least with you? They also were made in him. They were made in his image, in the Word – and none of us were made with more or less of a measure of the Word than anyone else.
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. Just as all of us (yes, even them) were made in and through God, all of us have the light of God within us – the light of all mankind. Every one of us, no matter how far we may have strayed from God in this life, still remain one with the Word at our core. We cannot shake that. We can’t quit it or run from it. We can deny it. We can act contrary to it. But we cannot change the innate goodness within us.
Denying and running from the light within us doesn’t change or diminish it, any more than looking at day and calling it night would make it so. No matter how hard we may try to obscure the light within us – even if our ego prevents us knowing of its existence – it remains the same, eternally burning, waiting to be shone into the darkness.
As you go out into the world today, look for that light in others. It’s there. It’s there in everyone you will meet today. And it’s in you. And you are in them, and they in you – all encompassed in the immutable Word from which we all sprang. Expect to see the light, and it will be there. And when you see it in others, you will see a beauty in them you’ve perhaps been missing. And darkness will not overcome it.
Lord, help us today to see your light in ourselves, in others and in the world around us. Give us, we pray, the strength and courage to unveil your light within ourselves, to seek and encourage it in others, and to ever know its presence, no matter how obscured our human sight may be. Amen.