John 1:1-5 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 received being through him, and without him not one [thing] received being which has received being. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light appears in darkness, and the darkness apprehended it not.
In Genesis Chapter 1, in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. I like to think of it as space – with all its dimensions – and matter. But in that primordial state, there was no meaning, all was empty and chaos. The only hint we get that there is a deeper meaning to that creation is the fact that the Spirit of God hovered over the “waters.” But why? It is a mystery… until God said!
That was the beginning of meaning, when the Word was uttered. Then reality and purpose came into being. And what did God say? Let there be light.
In John’s introduction to the Gospel, the Word, or as it is translated in Spanish with a weight of anticipation, the Verb, was there all along with God. Again, begging us to wonder, why? And then John reveals that Word, truly, as the Verb: all action: God the Creator. Everything that exists or ever will exist has been made through Him.
Standing at the end of a second year that has been pummeled by a worldwide pandemic of COVID-19, with all the loss that that entails, it is tempting to say that COVID-19 wasn’t really part of God’s perfect plan. But to that misguided attempt at defending God, John the disciple would simply repeat, “without him not one thing received being which has received being”.
God knew COVID-19 would come, as well as He knew that Cain would kill Abel, that Hitler would rise to power in Germany, that my mom would succumb to dementia before she died. He knew every pain that would come into our lives, whether it be in the form of an impersonal virus or my own choice. And yet He allowed it all to have being. Why?
The first part of the answer is back there in Genesis: He made us in His image, to have spirit and the power to love; and, therefore, he gave us the power of choice. By our own choices we shaped the Creation He made into our own flawed image. BUT the second part of the answer, the real answer to why he allowed it all to have being, is here in John 1.
Because God knew, He put in place the plan of Redemption from that very moment that He knew. In the beginning, the power, the plan, and the person of Redemption was with Him all along: The Word of God.
Yes, God created physical light way back then in Genesis 1, and then He created life. But the One who was in the beginning, who was Him in the beginning, who was with Him in that beginning, He had Life in Himself – eternal life. And that life was meant from that beginning to be the true light for all humanity: the light that gives every one of us the power to separate from darkness.
If I choose that light, if you choose that light, the darkness – no matter how powerful it pretends to be – will have no power to overcome it.
May we choose light.