Sunday, November 29, 2009

First Sunday In Advent

Today is the First Sunday in Advent and I have been meditating on the meaning of that word. Mathew, Mark, and Luke describe the birth of Jesus as a human boy. John tells us about the ADVENT of God coming to live with us.

I have been enchanted by the power of words since I learned how to read. When I learned in English class how to diagram a sentence and name its parts, nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs, I was enamored by the various uses of words. Though in some ways I was like the boy when asked by the teacher, “What is a synonym?” he replied, “It’s a word you use in place of another when you can’t spell the first one.”

The English translation of the Gospel according to John says, “the WORD became flesh.” This is so much more than “W-O-R-D” it is an expression of power. While it is an accurate translation it does not quite bring to us all of the power of the original Greek text. What is translated as “Word” in English is “Logos” in Greek and carries a lot more information.

Logos is normally used to denote the command of a king to his people. It carries the weight of authority and it must be obeyed. Of all the Greek words John could have used Logos caries the very essence of active power and energy. It was the creative power of the first chapter of Genesis.

1In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. 3Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.4And God saw that the light was good;

The Logos of God was present in the act of creation as by the power of the spoken word creation happened. It is no accident that the Gospel according to John begins the same way as Genesis “In the Beginning.” John intended for that very idea to be expressed. According to John the Logos of God went forth and created EVERYTHING.

Compare John with the genealogies in Matthew and Luke. They are so simple that we are almost bored to death by the begets. Joseph the son of Heli, son of Matthat, son of Levi, son of Melchi and so on and so on until we get lost. In the Gospel according to John the genealogy is very simple, Jesus son of God. What could be clearer than that?

Now we listen closely to John and hear “The logos became flesh and lived among us.” He was with God, he was of God and he was God. How do we grasp that idea? The Logos placed himself in the midst of our human condition and we were never the same again.
The LOGOS was God, here is an identity of unity as one with the creator of all things. This is an expression of an idea of the uniqueness of the eternal. As Christians we get a view here of the idea of the unity of one God doing different things. The Word created and we refer to those actions as God the Father or creator. The Word is also becoming flesh and we refer to God as the Christ. The Word as the light of all people is moving among us as our guide and we refer to God as the Holy Spirit.

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