Monday, January 8, 2018

Grace Upon Grace

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 

Whenever I get ready to travel, and anytime I feel unsettled or insecure, I return to the ocean. We have a vast coastline here in Massachusetts which is stunningly beautiful even in the coldest moments. My heart and home are by the ocean, even though my family doesn't have a home there any longer. It is for me a place close to the " Father's heart". The place from which we all came in so many ways and which we depend on for our survival. We may not realize it, but the welfare of the ocean is the welfare of all humanity. We have watched it this week, in the midst of the storm, crash angrily on the shores and flood many places, never before flooded.

From the beginning, we learn, Jesus was in the midst of Creation, a part of the the gifts of life for all of us. And grace and forgiveness then were there in creation, a heart for compassion and love which guides us all. Moses had to bring laws but Jesus brought the light of love, which surpassed and eclipsed the rigidity of structure. God invites us, in this season of Epiphany, to renew our lives by finding those places and people who renew our belonging to the father's heart where grace upon grace resides. We are invited to step beyond the things which destroy life and light, and move towards love unbounded.

Today, I ask God to help me live truly close to the God's heart. May my life reflect the grace given, the light shared and the love made known. May we live as children of a loving and living God who was present from the very beginning and is with us in every breath we take.

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