Today’s Reading: John 1:1-28
I read of a story from the famous 18th century Danish Christian theologian named Soren Kierkegaard. It is a familiar story, a story rewritten by many over the ages in many different forms, yet it is still relevant today. Here’s what he wrote:
A prince wanted to find a maiden suitable to be his queen. One day while running an errand in the local village for his father, he passed through a poor section. As he glanced out the windows of the carriage, his eyes fell upon a beautiful peasant maiden. During the ensuing days he often passed by the young lady and soon fell in love.
But he had a problem. How would he seek her hand? He could order her to marry him. But even a prince wants his bride to marry him freely and voluntarily and not through coercion. He could put on his most splendid uniform and drive up to her front door in a carriage drawn by six horses. But if he did this he would never be certain that the maiden loved him or was simply overwhelmed with all of the splendour.
The prince came up with another solution. He would give up his kingly robe. He moved, into the village, entering not with a crown but in the garb of a peasant. He lived among the people, shared their interests and concerns, and talked their language. In time the maiden grew to love him, because of who he was and because he loved her first.
This very simple, almost childlike story is what John is describing in chapter 1 of his gospel. This advent season reminds is that God came and lived among us. He had to reveal Himself to us in an understandable way, and this is precisely what Jesus did–became flesh just like you and me. He made Himself like us.
John begins his Gospel in an unusual manner. Unlike the Synoptic writers who begin their account of Jesus in a historical context, John opens his Gospel in eternity. John moves beyond human history. He starts “in the beginning.” and John’s Prologue doesn’t end with telling us who Jesus is. He will also inform us that God invaded humanity. He became one of us. He became a human being in order to provide a way that a relationship could be established. The Creator became His creation so that we could be given life/light.