In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God and the Word was God; he was in the beginning with God.
All things were made through him, and without him nothing came to be. Whatever has come to be, found life in him; life, which for human beings was also light, light that shines in darkness, light that darkness could not overcome. A man came, sent by God; his name was John. He came to bear witness, as a witness to introduce the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but a witness to introduce the Light.
For the Light was coming into the world, the true Light that enlightens everyone. He was in the world, and through him the world was made, the very world that did not know him. He came to his own, yet his own people did not receive him; but to all who received him, he empowers to become children of God, for they believe in his name.
These are born, but not by seed, or carnal desire, nor by the will of man: they are born of God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us; and we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father: fullness of truth and loving-kindness.
John bore witness to him openly, saying, “This is the one who comes after me, but he is already ahead of me, for he was before me.” From his fullness we have all received, favor upon favor. For God had given us the law through Moses, but Truth and Loving-kindness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but God-the-only-Son made him known: the one, who is in and with the Father.
The majestic hymn of John’s Gospel regarding the provenance of Jesus is a fitting goodbye to the year. It gives us a trajectory on how to spend the coming New Year; that is, to contemplate the wondrous commerce that took place between heaven and earth. The Son of God became Son of Man, and how this could take place is more than a lifetime’s worth of contemplation. John begins from the very beginning, at a time when there was no time yet. There was the Word. Now He is being revealed through human words that strive mightily to convey His mystery. May we start the year with the Word as our companion. May He light our path to ways that are level and smooth.
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