Advent Day 1: In the beginning

Posted on December 3, 2017 at 4:41 pm,

John's GospelIt always annoys me how the period covered by advent calendars only co-incides with advent itself one year in seven. So to relaunch this blog, I’ll be doing my own advent calendar of sorts. I plan to blog about something related to Christmas for every day of advent.

I thought I’d start at the beginning. John’s gospel introduces the story of Jesus in a very odd way. The opening lines are:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

The “Word” (actually a translation of the Greek word “Logos”, which has a whole load of extra meaning) is clearly a reference to Jesus (verses 14-16 make this crystal clear). I’ll be coming back to the first sentence tomorrow. Today, though, I want to talk about the last one.

Christianity clearly teaches that God created the universe, and everything in it. Christians disagree on how (and even when) He did it. Some think that God guided the naturalistic process of evolution, in the same way as He answers prayers about mundane matters. Others think that He supernaturally created new species over millions of years. And some think that He did it in six literal, 24-hour, days only a few thousand years ago.

When it comes to the Christmas story, though, that debate doesn’t really matter. John’s gospel (which was written by one of Jesus’ closest friends) opens by telling us that the man whose birth we celebrate during Christmas was right there during the process.

That baby, lying in a feeding trough, had created stars and galaxies, planets and moons. He had invented the pig, the kangaroo, the albatross, and the duck-billed platypus. He had fashioned blades of grass, painted cloud formations in the sky, and designed all the intricacies of human beings.

Isn’t that thought amazing?

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