The last WW of the year.
Here we go.
John 1:(1-9), 10-18
1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
1:2 He was in the beginning with God.
1:3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being
1:4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.
1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
1:7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.
1:8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.
1:9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
1:10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him.
1:11 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.
1:12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God,
1:13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
1:14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
1:15 (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.'”)
1:16 From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
1:17 The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
1:18 No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made God known.
The god we have chosen as the highest ideal recognizable by our understanding is certainly not the true God, because God cannot be grasped by our intellect – or if so, we would be capable of forming only a very human, even if perhaps well-intended, picture of a godly being. This picture would be very fragmentary and contradictory, and would make God accessible only to intellectuals, to those with highly trained minds, whereas God often lives most purely in those who are simple and childlike.…We should understand where the limits of human reason lie; there is much above and beyond these limits that can only be grasped by faith. And that becomes possible for the person who lets all that is human become silent in order to stand before the divine in adoration, reverence, and awe.
SOMETHING WE BELIEVE We believe light smothers darkness, penetrates every shadow in our world, and leaves clarity brighter than the sun; and we cannot adequately name that Light. We believe love breaks through hatred, and leaves space for forgiveness to re-build and re-create our world; and we cannot adequately name that Love. We believe truth exposes injustice, revealing a different vision for our world, a vision of freedom, fairness and future; and we cannot adequately name that Truth. We believe in a hope that rattles oppressors, shaping the intent of creation in a people destined for love; and we cannot adequately name that Hope. We believe in a time toward which all things journey where all our lives will be held and loved in an eternity; and we cannot adequately name that Time. With growing light, with faltering love, with glimpses of truth, with rising hope, upon time and beyond time, we live and move and have our being in that gracious mystery which is beyond all naming.
adapted* by Rev Dr Nancy L. Steeves
At the End of the Year
The particular mind of the ocean
Filling the coastline’s longing
With such brief harvest
Of elegant, vanishing waves
Is like the mind of time
Opening us shapes of days.
As this year draws to its end,
We give thanks for the gifts it brought
And how they became inlaid within
Where neither time nor tide can touch them.
The days when the veil lifted
And the soul could see delight;
When a quiver caressed the heart
In the sheer exuberance of being here.
Surprises that came awake
In forgotten corners of old fields
Where expectation seemed to have quenched.
The slow, brooding times
When all was awkward
And the wave in the mind
Pierced every sore with salt.
The darkened days that stopped
The confidence of the dawn.
Days when beloved faces shone brighter
With light from beyond themselves;
And from the granite of some secret sorrow
A stream of buried tears loosened.
We bless this year for all we learned,
For all we loved and lost
And for the quiet way it brought us
Nearer to our invisible destination.