Return to God’s word for the purpose of “hearing and seeing” Christ in the text. Fix your gaze on the illumination. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart and enable you to see what God wants you to see.
I continue to ponder the idea of the Word stepping forth from eternity. It’s almost as if this is the next scene, following the one in Phil. 2:6-11. There, we hear of Christ Jesus emptying himself, giving of himself out of love, being born in human likeness. With my spiritual imagination, I can see Christ, having made the decision to take on the human form, setting forth on this journey from beyond the veil and back again.
This reminds me of another story- A Hobbit’s Tale; There and Back Again. Now you know. I am still a huge Lord of the Rings fan, like some people are Star Wars fans. I think of Frodo having made the excruciatingly difficult decision to go into Mordor, putting on the mithril shirt as he begins his adventure beyond Rivendell. This is not a perfect analogy, I know. Frodo is just a simple hobbit, not the divine. Also, we have to read or watch to see what happens at the end. It is how good stories are written. But that’s not how John writes his Gospel.
Instead of waiting to reveal eternal life after the crucifixion and resurrection like the other Gospels, John gives us the inside scoop right from the start. Does that ruin the story? Not for me. Here is a promise from God: If I receive Jesus and believe in his name, he will empower me to become God’s child. Because Jesus stepped forth, becoming flesh, I am able to step forth, too, choosing light and life over darkness. I don’t have to wait until the ending, there is eternal life now! Am I ready to step forth? That is a good question. Am I ready to take on more of what it means to be human as Jesus is human: loving, serving, giving? There lies the challenge!
What challenges you in the illumination? Are you open to the images, thoughts, impressions, and feelings that come into your awareness?
©Christ Our Light, Donald Jackson, 2002 The Saint John’s Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, © 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.