Some of you were asking about how I spend time with the Lord and what it ‘looks’ like (e.g., what I read, what I write, what I think about, how I pray, etc.) And in an effort to give you a little glimpse into this part of my life, I thought I would share this simple yet exciting experience that came from reading the first chapter of John.
My quiet time always looks different – sometimes it’s stale, sometimes it’s super short and then sometimes (responsibility permitting) it can last all day long. This particular experience, as you’ll see, was more of a learning/discovery journey for me.
PART 1: Before I knew what “The Word” Meant
Why is it that the simplest of truths (the things I’ve heard time and time again and claim to KNOW) can sometimes, when heard in just the right moment or in a new light, boggle my mind?!
I’ve read the Gospel of John many times; I’ve even studied it thoroughly in bible study. I know that the Word of God is just that: the word OF God, himself. I know that reading His word is like reading Him, so to say. But this most recent time I read the first few verses in the first chapter of John, it literally jumped out of the page and slapped me in the face.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Like, wait, WHAT?! The word IS God? Ok, so according to my 3rd grade math teacher, we can then reason that the Word = God (‘is’ means ‘equal’…)
Back it up.
The words on the page ARE God? Wait, what?! Y’all, do you see how out-of-this-world CRAZY that is? Or am I just having a not-relatable/in-my-own-mind ‘moment’ here?!
I was just a little off. (slash I’m embarrassed to even tell you about this because it makes me feel dumb..) Keep reading.
PART 2: I had it all wrong (but it’s okay because I eventually figured it out)
So, I wrote ‘Part 1’ and then sat on it for a few days. It was initially A LOT longer and (of course) I went on a few tangents. But overall, what I decided to keep gives you a pretty good idea of the thoughts I was having and the conclusion/revelation that I thought I was coming to.
I didn’t publish it right away (thank goodness). Instead, I wanted to spend some time in prayer to make sure I was speaking in (and most importantly, sharing) truth. I reached out to a few of my closest sisters in Christ and shared what I had written, asking them to hold me accountable to truth before publishing.
Most of them gave me a green light except for one gave me a big, flashing yellow light; and for this, I am SO thankful. Above all, she was encouraging and excited for my post, but challenged me to dig a little deeper before publishing. She asked me constructive questions that ultimately led to more learning and another ‘ah-ha!’ moment.
So now I need to explain what I got wrong/misunderstood.
First and foremost, I misunderstood what John meant when he said “The Word.” I thought he was talking about the ‘Word of God’ (like the bible/’written word of God’), which I guess I could attribute to the translators (right?! ha). If you read closely (and continue reading through verse 14 specifically), you’ll see that he’s actually talking about Jesus.
Ooops. That’s kind of a big mistake. (This is when I wish I went to a religious high school – I feel like this is Christianity 101? oh well. I can’t lie. I didn’t know this!)
I read the verse several more times and thought to myself: wait, the word of God (aka the bible) couldn’t have been there in ‘the beginning’. And if I claim that the (inspired) written Word of God IS God, then I’m more or less saying that the bible is part of the Trinity. WOAH! Hold the phone! That’s definitely NOT right.
If we continue reading the chapter, we get a better understanding of why John used “the Word” here and see the significance of his diction. In Verse 14, John explains that “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” This tell us that John is using ‘the Word’ as a metaphor for Jesus (back in the first verse). And once we understand that John is talking about Jesus when he uses the term, ‘the Word’, we can read the first verse again with a different perspective.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
The Greek translation for the “Word” in this context is logos, which directly translates to ‘logic’. And back when John wrote this book*, the word ‘logos’ was somewhat of a controversial term. So to use the term logos to represent Jesus Christ and then to further say that the logos (aka Jesus) IS God was a pretty big deal. In other words, to say that Jesus IS God was a big deal. But that is exactly John’s motive and intention behind writing his book.
I love that this is how he begins his Gospel – he takes us ALL the way back to the beginning and places Jesus there with God.
Before I peace out, let’s look at the verse one more time. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John is saying a lot of big things here. For summary purposes, I thought I would list the biggest points he’s making here:
- Jesus was there in the beginning (he transcends time)
- Jesus was with God, which communicated that he was there TOO. In other words, that he coexisted or let’s just say, he was next to God. But really more that he is distinct and separate from God.
- Jesus IS God (Jesus is one and the same as God)
Points 2 and 3 are contradictory, but I think that’s John’s intention here :)
*It’s important to note that John introduces Jesus with a term (‘the word’) that both his Jewish and Gentile readers were very familiar with and that they would understand the gravity of his statement. Additionally, note that the word ‘logos’ is distinctive from the Greek word for ‘scripture’ (or the ‘written word of God’), further pointing at the fact that John was using ‘The Word’ as a metaphor for Jesus
Personal Side Note on This Post
I know this little story/tid-bit is pretty random, but it’s just that – a little peek into one of my experiences. – honest and true.
I truly feel like I learn something new just about every single day; the challenge is simply mustering up the discipline to show up. For me personally, I have to (!) mute my phone (I turn it on do not disturb mode), put everything away and journal a little bit in order to get myself fully focused and free from distractions.
Not every day/time feels ‘good’ and sometimes I don’t feel anything at all, but all of it proves to be a positive force in my life. And I think consistency is key when it comes to making a habit of spending time with the Lord.
For the record, it’s not easy for me to share stuff like this. I know sometimes it might seem like it’s simple to stand ‘over here’ (behind this blog) and say these kinds of things… like the big stuff (aka not talking about scallops and pink things).
But y’all. It most certainly is NOT easy at all. In fact, it’s terribly (!) frightening. I never know how people are going to respond and most of the time I’m nervous that what I’m saying isn’t coming across the right way or doesn’t even make sense.
I know I shouldn’t care what people think…and that I should just be ME and share my faith fearlessly…blah blah blah. But come on people, that’s a load of baloney. Wouldn’t YOU care?
Let’s be real here, I care. Everyone does. But I care more about encouraging YOU than I do about being ‘cool’ or the best/most famous/whatever fashion blogger (well…most of the time. At least my intentions are to put you before me…ha!).
Of course I can’t share everything, but I do enjoy sharing little bits and pieces of my personal walk of faith from time to time. It’s the most important part of ME (and my entire life revolves around it), so I would feel a little bit like a fraud if I didn’t mention it every now and then.
Anyway, just wanted to let you know that sharing these things is no walk in the park (it’s making myself vulnerable and that’s never fun). But okay, that’s all for today. Have a great weekend! Peace out and enjoy the fourth!
PS: I’m trying to figure out the best way to provide a resources page for you all that is strictly faith-based. I love getting emails from you and wish I could respond thoroughly to each and every one of you.
I do think it would be great if there was a place on BTD that I could direct people to that would answer FAQ and link to some of my favorite resources and people and books etc.
For now, I’m using the #beSTILLbeBRIGHT page for that – so feel free to comment here or there with questions and I’ll do my best to consolidate and answer what I can.
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