Advent 2 (2013)–Nothing Material

Let’s begin our exploration of Gospel of John and see Emmanuel: When LOVE Showed Up In-Person.  Read and ponder:

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

Read that verse again—and let this thought sink in:

There is nothing material there.

It seems to be a void.  You can’t see the Word unless it’s in print or in another form, such as braille.  You can’t hear the Word unless it’s spoken.  You can’t see God who is Spirit.

If you or I had been eyewitnesses transported by a magical time-machine or Major Tom’s “little tin can” to this moment, there would have been nothing to see.

No wispy gasses. No grains of chemicals. No asteroids. No stars. No light.

Ground Control to Major Tom

 Commencing countdown, engines on

 Check ignition and may God’s love be with you”

It’d be lonelier than an astronaut floating in the silence and the stars like Major Tom.  I say lonelier because Major Tom had Ground Control until his circuits went dead, his ship, and the stars.  You or I would be floating truly alone in a blackness of total nothingness surrounding us if what we were to see was truly all there was. 

Yet this nothingness is what every idea about beginnings must grapple with.

Interestingly, the human mind will superimpose its own patterns upon what it lacks—if we are placed in a sensory-deprived environment for as little as 15 minutes.   And yet, had we been transported back to that time with no memories to form hallucinations, it would have appeared to be the scariness of nothingness and the machinations of our own minds would have had no fuel because there were not even thoughts to rely upon to create our own comfort.

We couldn’t perceive anything to give us comfort.  And while it is true that there was Nothing Material, it doesn’t mean that there was nothing at all.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

The Word was there and God was there.  Not as a figment of our sensory-deprived minds but as an unseen reality, invisible to our human senses.

LOVE was actively present even though not at all a material thing.  It was a powerful, life-giving force enjoyed by God Himself, and an expression of His character. 

Ponder again this beginning for Christians and take a moment to answer the following questions:

  • Why do so many people try to turn love into something material. particularly at Christmas?
  • The relationship of LOVE in the Godhead was enjoyed before there was anything from which we might have derived any comfort.  How has the necessity of seeing replaced believing for way too many of us?
  • How does this begin to set the stage for the necessity of LOVE showing up so that we’d be able to see the Word and see the Father by looking at Jesus?

in the beginning

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on December 2, 2013

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