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The Peace of Advent: Day Six

December.14.2012

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

John 1:1-6

This is one of the first passages I ever memorized as a kid. It’s not that I was super spiritual and was challenging myself to memorize scripture or anything that holy, it was for my Bible class in middle school. But I distinctly remember reading this passage over and over and over, meticulously repeating it aloud. The good news is I think today I could still get pretty close if forced to write it down.

The bad news is I get so tempted to skip over the passage because of it’s familiarity. I’ve literally read it 100s of times, in multiple translations (I see you, Message). When I come to this passage, I am so tempted to skip it, to mine the more obscure/less frequently encountered passages for new depth and truth.

This idea and practice of the familiar no longer having depth is giant metaphor for how I treat the Christmas season in general. It’s almost crushingly familiar. I have heard it/read it/experienced it 100s of times. I watch friends in churches exhaust themselves to communicate the truth of this season in a new and creative way to engage their communities. Because of this, I forced myself to sit and reflect and read and sit with the truth of John 1, and I have been reminded that the familiar is powerful, that just because we know this story, that it doesn’t make the reality of the story any less poignent and impactful.

Familiar truth is still truth. And today I am finding peace in this season of the familiar, while I strive to encounter it again with a humble, grateful heart.

In the beginning, Jesus was there. In the beginning, Jesus was light to mankind. He always has been and always will be. His birth on that oh holy night was a reflection of who he has always been – a light that shines in the darkness. And today I strive to experience the peace of knowing that this rescue has been in motion since the beginning, that even when the darkness seems the deepest, that light is coming. Hope, peace, joy, and love are there, and while it feels familiar, I am reminded that I have yet to tap into the depth of that truth, despite how often I re-experience the story.

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