The First Day - The Beginning

This is the first in a series of prayerful reflections we're going to be sharing in at Dundonald Methodist Church throughout Holy Week under the title of Endings and Beginnings. Come join us at 9.50am this morning or 8am from Monday to Friday if you are within travelling distance, or if not, share in them as they are published. They're based on the widely held thesis that John's entire Gospel paints the life, death and resurrection of Jesus as the initiation of a new creation, hence the strong parallels in the prologue, the 7 signs and 7 "I am" sayings, the early focus on "the next day" etc. This morning's reflection is based on Genesis 1: 1-5, John 1: 1-13, and John 12: 12-19. 

Opening Liturgy
In the beginning God…
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word was with God in the beginning.
In the beginning God created…
Through the Word everything was created; without the Word nothing was made that has been made. In the beginning God created the heavens and earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God brooded over the deep dark waters… And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
In the Word was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light "day", and the darkness he called "night". And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

It was the first day of the week… and you would have thought it was the most important day since the creation of the world… We had followed him from Galilee over the previous 3 years… Everything seemed to be leading to this point… Here he was in Jerusalem and everything was going to change… Not just our wee provincial backwater, but the whole Empire… everything, the whole created order…
Yet, there was something strange going on… Something not quite right… Here was the Messiah… the Son of God some believed… riding on the back of a donkey… Escorted by cheering women and children, laying down a carpet of leaves and clothes… 
But if he was the Son of God, where were the hosts of heaven? Where was the welcome from the guardians of the Temple… the teachers of the faith…
There was a shadow brooding over the celebrations…

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.
John 1:10-13 (ANIV) 

Closing Prayer
May we go into this day, knowing that we are a new creation, children of God… the maker of heaven and earth; the uncreated creator; eternally unchangeable in his love for us and the world… May we live our lives in the light of his unquenchable love, with his word alive within us and aware of his Spirit brooding over us, through Jesus Christ. AMEN



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