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.
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. (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.'") From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known. John 1:1-18
We had the joy of spending time with our granddaughter over the weekend. Lilly is three and full of life. She laughs big, runs fast and is not shy nor without an opinion. All the months we were in Alaska, we enjoyed talking to her on the phone and sometimes over Skype. But to have her in the flesh, with us, sound asleep and wide awake - that is something all together different. When love is spoken about it is one thing. When love sits down next to you and wipes their hands on you, well, that is something completely different and completely real.
John's Gospel begins with the wondrous poetry of word made flesh. God, once far away, and in the written and spoken word, now is real, tangible and even possibly messy. God is with us, incarnate and in the midst of our troubles and adversities. God is living in our customs and our practices. God is here in our awkward moments and our graceful times. God inhabits young and old alike, men and women also. For every circumstance, every challenge, every victory and every faialing, God is here with us.
Today I ask God's presence in a real and abiding way. The challenges ahead are many and the road seems so crooked and lonely. May we invite God to inhabit the messy spaces with us and trust that God made flesh is with us all today.