JohnToday’s Word: ‘JOHN’ as in… the Feast of Saint John the Evangelist on this Third Day of Christmas!

I’m not sure when this all first began, but for as long as I can remember, when I read the opening sentences of the Gospel of John, I hear an orchestra.

Honest, I do. I hear an orchestra.

And not, like, just in my imagination. I hear musical instruments: cellos, violins, harps, oboes, brass, percussion and reed instruments. It’s very tactile, experiential.

In very much the same way, when I sing the old hymn, “Children of the Heavenly Father,” the right side of my face warms.

Honest, I do. Not the left, just the right.

This is probably because when I sang that hymn as a kid, the morning sun streamed through stained glass windows on the east side of my home church touching the right side of my face.

I know, right?

Now when I sing that hymn I feel warmth. When I read the Prologue of John’s Gospel I hear an orchestra. A heated hymn and an orchestral poem.

John, known as “The Evangelist” was “The Bringer of Good News.” With words that are equal parts poetry and soaring theology, John created a symphony of Good News that has inspired poets, theologians and musicians right along with the rest of us. John reminds us of the early moments of creation when the silence and darkness were filled, first with the Word, and then with Light! John gives us just enough to imagine that moment that is, of course, beyond our imagination!

But then near the end of the first part of the passage, John writes what amounts to the sweetest of melodies, the most profound poetry. John, the Evangelist gives us this very intimate image of the Incarnation: “The Word-of-Promise became the Word-made-Flesh and moved into the neighborhood and lived among us full of this grace and truth.”

How poetic, how musically beautiful, how warm to our hearts that God would move into our neighborhood and live across the street, next door and right in our own homes!



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