(For the beginning of this series of readings go here.)
Week 1, Monday – John 1:1-14
Of the Father’s Love Begotten by Aurelius Clemens Prudentius trans. 1859
Of the Father’s love begotten ere the worlds began to be,
he is Alpha and Omega — he the source, the ending he,
of the things that are, that have been,
and that future years shall see evermore and evermore.
While we are busily looking at the manger, the shepherds, the magi, and the virgin this time of year, let us not overlook the nativity story found in John 1. In the beginning reflects the beginning of Genesis, the story of divine creation. God’s love for creation began at the very beginning.
Much like the love of a mother for a child long before the child takes his or her first breath in the world, so is God’s love for us. God does not love us because we are perfect, but because God is perfect—not because we are good, but because God is good. The idea of the Christ, the salvation of humanity, came at the very beginning because of God’s great love for us.
This extraordinary love of God in spite of our humanness, even toward the worst of humanity, does not give us carte blanche, to be able to do whatever we want. God also gave us the ability to respond to the divine love with love of our own. Our response in love to the God who dreamed us into existence is the only way we can truly appreciate the salvation of Christ during the Christian year, beginning with Advent.
As we look for mangers and nativity sets with Christmas tunes playing in the background, let us not forget to look for signs of the creation around us and remember that in the beginning we are God’s beloved.
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 came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. John 1:1-3a