This Sunday's reading is the introduction to the Gospel of John. Full of imagery and delivering a well developed theology, it is a favorite of many (although I favor Luke/Acts). The first few lines lay out theology and one of John's major themes, light versus darkness.
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. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. John 1:1-18John's message is an enduring one, a message that was not lost on Her Majesty, the Queen in her 2016 Christmas message,
“And yet, billions of people now follow (Jesus).. and find in him the guiding light for their lives. I am one of them because Christ’s example helps me see the value of doing small things with great love.” Queen Elizabeth II.As preachers give their take on John's proclamation today, I hope they do not forget to mention that if it were not for the darkness, we wouldn't need the light.
And as you begin the new year, don't forget to pack your flashlight!