Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


A Pattern for Everything

In this weekend's Gospel reading we hear the wonderful poetic lines of the prologue to John's Gospel:

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through him,
and without him not one thing came into being.
What has come into being in him was life,
and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not overcome it.

Jesus is called the Logos in the Greek in which this passage was written. Logos means word, but it means more than that. Logos was significant in Greek philosophical thought. The Rev. Jim Stamper at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Woodstock, Virginia tries to bring that sense of the word out in his paraphrase of the full prologue in which he sees the logos as the pattern for all creation. He writes:
Initially there was a pattern for everything.
The pattern was God's; God was the pattern.
The pattern was always God.
Everything came from that pattern.
There isn't anything else.
The pattern is both the source of life and the meaning of life.
It is a way of being alive in opposition to death, and death cannot overcome it.

God sent a man named John to tell people about the possibilities of this way of being alive in opposition to death so everybody would trust the source of life. John wasn't the source of life; he taught how to recognize the pattern. The true pattern, the source and meaning of everybody's life, was coming to people.

To some people, however, life, and what life is all about, is unrecognizable. Some who could be expected to see the possibilities of this way of being alive select death instead. Others embrace life. They trust what life offers.

Life offers something more intense than the strongest family ties: obtaining a new parent, God, the source, the meaning of life itself.

The initial pattern for everything that is became a human being and lived among us.

We experienced how awesome that is: as awesome as a newborn baby is to its daddy, the gift of life and all its possibilities.
Not as poetic as John's text, but quite good at getting the underlying feeling in the Greek of how much it matters that Jesus was the preexistent logos who became flesh in Jesus.



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