The Word is on Your Side – Greg Albrecht
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning – John 1:1-2
Christmas is over – it’s now in the rear-view mirror. The decorations have been taken down and the dead trees have been picked up by trash collectors. In one sense we are now “back to reality.” When we strip away the thin veneer of secularism and commercialism and ritualism and obligatory gift giving and ornamentation from Christmas we are left with profound spiritual reality.
Our first up close and personal perspective of divine, ultimate and eternal reality, according to John 1:14, was when The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. That event was the embodiment of reality. Nothing is more real than God – nothing is more true than The Word.
The physical realities that were a part of his birth were humble and mundane things like despised shepherds, domestic farm animals, cold and lonely nights and of course … the birth of a child. New parents with their first child adjusting to a new life while trying to make ends meet. “Their” child was the Word who was with God and was God, from the very beginning.
The Word of course is Jesus, the Son of God, and Jesus is the Word. The Word in John 1:1 is the translation of logos, a Greek word whose meaning goes far beyond human communication. The Word denotes ultimate meaning, truth, reason and reality – the Word embodies the foundation of all significance – the Word is the divine, eternal principle upholding and sustaining all that we see and all we don’t.
Christmas is over, no doubt about it. We are back to the weary business of life. Horrific fires in Australia – continuing bloodshed and pandemonium in the Middle East – Puerto Rico devastated by earthquakes. Beyond unspeakable pain, beyond heartbreaking corruption, beyond heartaches of loss and grief, beyond the miseries of addiction and diseases and warfare – beyond all of the chaos, fury and ugliness of life on this planet the Word guarantees us there is order and structure and eternal significance.
For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. – Colossians 1:16-17
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. – Hebrews 1:3
The Word holds everything together. He sustains his creation. Even when you and I are at the end of the rope because we can’t hold it all together, he does. He is the comforting reality that this life is not all there is. He is the eternal, real and true principle who holds it all together, even when it all seems to be unraveling. He is the blessed assurance of God’s love, mercy and grace that transcends all the sordid and perverted things that humans do to one another.
The Word was in the beginning with God because he was and is God. The Word became the man Jesus, adding humanity to his divinity so that he might be one of us and with us and for us. The Word is and was the God-man, theanthropos, the incarnate God. The Word is the son of man and the Son of God. As we ponder about, worship and focus on Jesus we marvel at the way he is with us and for us and that he lives his life in us.
I attended and participated in many (too) funerals and memorial services this past year. “God will meet us on the other side” is but one of the many well intended clichés that one often hears on such occasions. On its face it is true – our eternal home is with God and he will meet us on the other side. But that’s only part of the story. In the person of the Word God has already come to “this side.” The Word is on your side now and forever!
Jesus – the Eternal Word of God – offers significance and meaning and a principled spiritual foundation even while we are living in and through our own private hell-on-earth trials and difficulties. He is now guiding those who follow him through this corruptible world into an incorruptible new heaven and new earth. We will see God “on the other side” because he now lives in and with us on this side.
Jesus – the Eternal Word of God – is our spiritual rest and peace. He lifts those who accept his invitation out of their prison cells of wants and preferences and lusts and addictions. He transcends religious laws that incarcerate many behind the bars of spiritual prisons. He stoops down into our lives of guilt and shame and cleanses us, washing us and inviting us to follow him.
Life is more than the storms and upheavals and misery that we face – for those who accept the outstretched invitation of Jesus, life can be more like dancing with Jesus in the rain. Accept the outstretched hand of the Word – dance with him, walk with him and follow him as you navigate the obstacle course, the storms and inhospitable realities of your here and now.