John 1:19-23 A Voice Crying

And this is the testimony of John when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him the question ‘Who are you?’ – and he openly confessed without hesitation: ‘I am not the Christ.’ And they questioned him ‘What then? Are you Elijah? And he said ‘I am not.’ ‘Are you the Prophet?’ and he answered ‘No’.

So they said to him ‘Who are you? Tell us so that we might give an answer to those who sent us. What are you saying about yourself?

He spoke up ‘I am a voice crying in the wilderness. “Straighten the path of the Lord.”‘ as Isaiah the prophet said. (DNW)

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.

John 1:16-18 From his fullness

From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.  No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known. (NRSV)

And the Word took up blood and bones and camped among us, and we marked with rapt attention his glory, glory as a father’s only child – he was full of grace and truth…
… for we all have received from his fulness: grace then grace.
… for although the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came into being through Jesus Christ.
Nobody has ever seen God. The only child – God! – who is so close to the Father’s heart –that one has shown us God. (DNW)

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art –
Thou my best thought, by day or by night;
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

John 1:15 Before and After

(John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.”’) (NRSV)

John bore witness about him and proclaimed: ‘This man was the one I spoke about: “The one who comes after me (in time) is before me (in status) because he existed before me (in time). ‘” (DNW)

Be thou a bright flame before me,
Be thou a guiding star above me
Be thou a smooth path below me
Be thou a kindly shepherd behind me
Today – tonight -forever
Amen.

St Columba

John 1:14 – Blood and Bones

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth (NRSV)

And the Word took up blood and bones and camped among us, and we marked with rapt attention his glory, glory as a father’s only child – he was full of grace and truth. (DNW)

Lord, you have given me so much,
I ask for one more thing –
a grateful heart.

George Herbert

John 1:12-13 – Born by the Action of God

But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God,  who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. (NRSV)

But to all who received him, he gave them the right to become children of God – to those who believe in his name – they were born not as the result of a blood-line, nor physical desire, nor a man’s choice but by God’s action. (DNW)

O Love, O God who created me, in your love recreate me.
O Love, who redeemed me,
fill up in me whatever part of your love
has fallen into neglect within me.
O Love, O God, who first loved me,
grant that with my whole heart,
and with my whole soul,
and with my whole strength,
I may love you.

Gertrude the Great

Previous week – My translation of John 1:1-11

When things began ‘the Word’ already was, and the ‘Word’ was always intimately close to God, and the ‘Word’ was one with God. When things began, this one was close to God, . Every single thing came about through his doing, and without him nothing came about, not one thing that began. In him was life, and the life was the light of humans, The light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness has never grasped it.

There came a man – ‘sent with a mission’ from God, by name John. He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that everyone might come to believe (through him). That one definitely was not the light, but was sent to testify to the light.

He (the Word) was the true light, that shines on every one by his coming into the world. He was in the world and the world came into being through him. yet the world did not recognise him. He came to his own homeland, yet his own kin did not receive him.

John 1:8-11

He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.  The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. NRSV

That one (John) definitely was not the light, but was sent to testify to the light. He (the Word) was the true light, that shines on every one by his coming into the world.
He was in the world and the world came into being through him. yet the world did not recognise him. He came to his own homeland, yet his own kin did not receive him. (DNW)

Teach us, good Lord,
to serve thee as thou deservest;
to give and not to count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek for rest;
to labour and not to ask for any reward,
save that of knowing that we do thy will,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

St Ignatius

John 1:6,7

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. (NRSV)

There came a man – ‘sent with a mission’ from God, by name John. He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that everyone might come to believe (through him). (DNW)

Grant, Lord,
that we may hold to you without parting,
worship you without wearying,
serve you without failing;
faithfully seek you,
happily find you,
and forever possess you,
the only God,blessed now and for ever.
Amen

St Anselm

John 1:3-5

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. (NRSV)

In him was life, and the life was the light of humans, The light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness has never grasped it. (DNW)

Thank you, dear Jesus,
for all you have given me,
for all you have taken away from me,
for all you have left me.

Thomas More (c.1478-1535)