There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light. (John 1:6-8).
We have to update things. Change is constant, and therefore adaptation to that change is essential. Successful corporations have learned this truth the hard way. Those who have failed to change with and adapt to the times have fallen by the wayside.
But this is not only a modern phenomenon. When the Good News of Jesus Christ was first being proclaimed, the language used and images created needed to be generationally current and culturally relevant.
The introduction to our scripture this week (John 1:1-5) exemplifies this kind of adaptation of language and image. The Gospel of John was most likely written at the turn of the first century, some 70 years after Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. The Truth proclaimed in John is the same Truth of the other Gospels. Yet it begins, not with the humble whispers of dreams or songs of angels to shepherds or arduous journeys of magi from afar.
It is, instead, a second creation story. The humble birth of Luke and Matthew explodes into a cosmic event. Is this a different birth? No. The same. Only we are reminded of the profound impact it has, and the indescribable origins it comes from. It is a breathless, almost symphonic expression of what God is doing, has done and will do in our world.
Compare that beginning with what we know of ourselves. And we are left with this haunting reminder of John the Baptist, just in case we stumble into feeling a little haughty: “He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light”. Let us remember this Truth, and go and do likewise. And may any darkness surrounding you be illumined by the Light that overcomes.