Message Supplement (4 January 2015)

Today’s deliciously different text (John 1:1-18) traverses rarefied theological air and sets-up Jesus at the highest point in the heavens. Seldom is Jesus’ divine nature narrated more magnificently as John attempts. Equating Jesus with the light, life and power of universal creation teases our understanding. Regardless of your take on this, John’s startling language activates our imagination.

John’s Greek word logos describes what we translate as “Word” in John’s Gospel. But this isn’t just any word, it is the word. The biggest, greatest, first-event in the universe type of word. John presents Jesus as the message and mechanism of creation. Then it happened. Jesus the Light & Creator was born, such that the spiritual presence of God became flesh (and the rest is history, as they say, just as we learned through our annual immersion in the Christmas story).

Pardon my abrupt turn, but what does any of this have to do with New Year’s? Enter the odd “BOGO” in the message title. Buy One Get One has become a marketing cliché. The gist is that you buy an item and then you get something “free.”  If we have “bought” an understanding of God through John’s words then what is our freebie? I suggest faith fuel. I know it sounds odd, but consider how God invites us to absorb descriptions about Jesus such that we can energize our yearly journey. I know that it may be a struggle to perceive things this way but the benefits are worth it.

What I’m trying to get at is for us to create a renewed reality by allowing ourselves to be transformed through the renewing of our minds. All the grand claims about who Jesus is and what God has done can overwhelm us. It seems that abstract theology isn’t enough, that we need to feel God’s presence as we conquer our challenges day-by-day. We can read grand theological treatises all day but we can go further as we cultivate God’s presence within.

Up to now I’ve avoided the word “resolution,” as in New Year’s resolution. Yet we need a determination to be the person God wants us to be. Here we are on the fourth day of 2015 and yet there’s always danger in losing momentum toward our goals. So perhaps we can resolve to live our best life going forward. What are we headed for? My crystal ball is a bit foggy so I can’t help you as much as I’d like. In one sense it doesn’t matter what we face in 2015 as long as we invite God to accompany us. Life teaches us that we’ll encounter challenges and opportunities when and where we don’t expect them. Helping us survive and thrive means that we must seek God’s power. If you’re only willing to make one resolution then for goodness sake be resolved to do grow closer with God.

Speak the Word. Claim the power of Jesus as you create a superb 2015. Yearn for God’s creative presence to be borne through your attitudes and actions. Reflect John’s provocative imagery and share your inspiration as God’s Spirit indwells you. In you, with you, and through you, God is as real as God will ever be.

–Reverend Larry Hoxey