In the Beginning was the Word | John 1:1-3
The Word was first,
the Word present to God,
God present to the Word.
The Word was God,
in readiness for God from day one.
Everything was created through him;
nothing—not one thing!—
came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out. John 1:1-3 | MSG
Sometimes we can start viewing the community library we know as the “Bible” as a fourth member of the Trinity. Sometimes people go so far as to equate the Bible with the Holy Spirit. But before a word was written of what we now know as the Bible, the Word was. Personal. Divine. Creative. Light. The Word is more than words on any page of any book or books. The Word spoke all that we know and are into existence. The Word became fully human and “moved into the neighborhood.” All written words in the collection we know as the Bible only point to the Living One who is the Final Word, the Alpha and Omega, the Word who begins all, completes all, fills all. To hear is more than to study books of the Bible. It’s more than memorizing and reciting verses. To hear is to live in a responsive posture towards Christ, the Living Word, the centering Truth, the organizing Principle of all reality. “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:39-40). This is the greatest irony. Getting mired in debates, theologies and speculations in the written word and missing the Living Word in the process. It can be so much easier to relate to and attempt mastery of a book with fixed words in black and white than it is to relate to the Living and Active Word that moves, that is unpredictable, uncontainable, untraceable. It may be quite a stretch for us, but an elemental practice for spiritual life is to begin thinking of hearing in terms not primarily of reading and studying written words but of presence and response to the One who is the Word.
What can we do to help ensure Bible study leads to the Word who is Jesus rather than detouring us into religious dead ends?
Living Word, lead me into quiet rhythms of communing with you, hearing you, moving with you – and use any and all time in Scripture to bring me into such responsive rhythms.
Quietly read aloud the words of John 1:1-18. Soak in them. Invite the Living Word.
For all of this week’s resources for this new series on Spiritual Disciplines including this week’s DG video, check out the Vineyard website.