Do you ever read through a few verses of the Bible so quickly that when you go away you don’t retain a thing? We all do at times. We read scripture with a laundry list of To-Dos on our minds instead of engaging with the text. The author of How to Read a Book states that a book is like a conversation, you “listen” as you read, ask questions, and seek the answers in such a way that you’ve “heard” the writer speak. A great thought to keep in mind as we approach God’s Word each day. No more rushed conversations as we seek to “finish” our quiet time and dash on to the next thing. Time with the Lord is not something to be “finished.” It is a conversation to be had and a relationship to enjoy!
This morning, let’s treat our time with the Lord like we would a visit with a favorite friend. Grab a cup of coffee (or your favorite beverage). Settle in to your favorite comfy chair. Snuggle up in your favorite soft throw if it’s chilly where you are. And have at hand your Bible, paper, and pen. Get ready for a great conversation! Relax. Chat (pray). Listen attentively.
Turn to John 1. Read these words with fresh eyes – maybe in a less familiar version of the Bible for you. Read as a listener. Jot questions in the margin or on your paper. As you ask a question, listen. No quick answer? Then keep reading, it may come. Talk back to scripture. Prayer is part of that conversation we have, so is journaling, so is listening in your inner man.
Let’s get started together and I’ll bow out and leave the two of you to converse alone.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it. John 1:1-5
~ Wow, Lord! Why is Word capitalized there? We only capitalize names. So I guess that really does mean Jesus as my preacher has said. That makes sense. The Word = Jesus.
~ In the beginning was the Word – And He’s always been. So Jesus you’ve always been, even before you were born as flesh and blood. You were there with God at the Creation of the earth. How can this be, Lord? I have trouble wrapping my mind around the whole concept of eternity and the fact that you have always been. It’s sometimes anxiety-producing for my finite mind to try to grasp eternity.
~ and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. – Not only have you always been Jesus, but you, The Word, “…Was [were] God” from the beginning! How does that work? Will you explain it to us in heaven one day? Because frankly it blows my mind. I’m just gonna trust you with things I don’t understand. But I’d really like to know one day.
~ 3 All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. – All things were created through you Jesus, Word of God. All things. Me, mountains, oceans, space… You are limitless, God! It overwhelms me to consider your majesty and power and greatness in this way. Was it hard for you to create some things? I guess not if you spoke them all into being.
~ And if all things were created by you, I guess that means that they are just the way you meant for them to be, right? So my fat nose was supposed to be that way? And my son, who exasperates me but brings laughter to the house, was meant to do just that? Exasperate and bring joy? And mosquitos even have a purpose in your plan? Are you kidding me, Lord?! Surely there is no good purpose for a mosquito!
~ 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. – So you not only created life, Jesus, but you ARE life? Life is in you, Jesus – I’m seeing that as I get older. All the home decor, and dressing the kids just so, and going on fancy vacations do not make me feel alive. My true moments of living this life are when I experience your presence! I understand this part, Jesus. It lights up my day when I hear from you in a personal way or you meet a specific need or use me to touch another weary human soul that is made in your image. You really are “the light of men” – and women.
~ 5 That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it. – Jesus, sometimes my darkness feels overwhelming. Sometimes I struggle to see your light in my darkness of the mind. Lord, will you remind me in those dark times that your light is there? Will you ignite hope and light in my soul when I don’t have any? I know You always bring me through my depression and worries and dark moments, but sometimes Your light seems hidden from me. Thank you, Jesus, for always being there even when I’m blind to you working in my life situations! I couldn’t make it through the darkness alone. I love that all the darkness can’t overcome you; it can’t beat you. You shine through and win in every situation! Thank you, Jesus! I love you, Lord!
Now it’s your turn. Starting today, and over the next few days, finish reading through John 1, one verse at a time. Discuss the verses with The Father one by one. Ask questions. Be honest. Listen. Write down what God is saying to you. See what you hear from God today.