John’s gospel does not start with the birth of Jesus, like the other gospels do. John is less concerned about Jesus’ earthly beginning and instead addresses his eternal beginning, as confusing as that oxy moron is. “In the beginning the Word already existed…” (New Living Translation). Just like God’s love and peace that is already there whenever we come to know it, the Word was already there, already complete, already perfect. This is the Word that created the world, that gave life and light to everything and everyone. It gave such a light that the dark can never extinguish or overcome it. The beginning all started with “Let there be light” and this light was given by the Word.
And then the Word became flesh. A prophet was appointed to declare this miracle, to prepare hearts for the fullness that was coming. The law that came through Moses could not make us complete. The light the Word gave us needs more fuel than the law can provide. It requires the source of the light itself to dwell in us. But how can the Light dwell in us without first coming to us? Especially since we certainly cannot go to the Light of our own accord. So the Word became flesh.
And in the Word’s flesh, we came to know God’s unfailing love and faithfulness. The Word in the flesh revealed God to us. He was the example of God dwelling within, of how God makes the light already in us become a consuming fire that rules us.
Just as the Word already existed in the beginning, so we already have the light of the Word within us. Our enemies and those that irritate us also have this life within them. And through God’s unfailing love and faithfulness, this light becomes what makes us complete, whole, perfect. We already have the light, but we are not yet perfect. We celebrate the light, but we wait for perfection. We experience tension in this worship. It is somber, painful, thoughtful, peaceful, glorious, joyful. The “already” is the deposit that fuels our hope for the “not yet”.
Father, please help me focus on the hope you have given us. On your peace and love that is already there. On the light that is already in everyone. Help me learn more about all of these things this Advent season and for all my days. I love You. You fill me overflowing. All in Your Will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.