January 3, 1999

Epiphany Sunday
(Epiphany is January 6 - the Magi come bearing "gold, frankincense and myrrh")

John 1:1-18

In the beginning was the one who is called the Word.
The Word was with God and was truly God.
From the very beginning the Word was with God.

And with this Word, God created all things.
Nothing was made without the Word.
Everything that was created received its life from him,
and his life gave light to everyone.
The light keep shining in the dark, and the darkness has never put it out.
God sent a man named John,
who came to tell about the light and to lead all people to have faith.
John wasn't that light.
He came only to tell about the light.

The true light that shines on everyone was coming into the world.
The Word was in the world, but no one knew him,
though God had made the world with his Word.
He came into his own world, but his own nation did not welcome him.
Yet some people accepted him and put their faith in him.
So he gave them the right to be the children of God.
They were not God's children by nature or because of any human desires.
God himself was the one who made them his children.

The Word became a human being and lived here with us.
We saw his true glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father.
From him all the kindness and all the truth of God have come down to us.

John spoke about him and shouted, "This is the one I told you would come! He is greater than I am, because he was alive before I was born."

Because of all that the Son is, we have been given one blessing after another. The Law was given by Moses, but Jesus Christ brought us undeserved kindness and truth. No one has ever seen God. The only Son, who is truly God and is closest to the Father, has shown us what God is like.


1. Sometimes the only way to speak about the most real is to use the less than factual form of poetry. How can you see and say that GOD is in all, whether recognized or not?

2. Two important categories for life are kindness and truth (whether deserved or not). Does it make a difference about which comes first? Do folks better grasp the truth if they have been dealt with kindly? Do folks better respond to kindness if there has been truth-telling going on? How about you? How about the people in your life, are some one way and some another?

3. How do you picture GOD from this passage?
One who divies out favors, some get them and some don't?
One who willy-nilly shares kindness and truth with all?
How do you hold those together? How do they interact?

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