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  • Writer's pictureDeborah

New New Word

John 1:1-8 ESV

I’ve been watching The Chosen.

Actually, I’m binge watching it.

There is a scene in The Chosen where John connects the dots between Genesis “in the Beginning” to Jesus the word and the new beginning.

That’s exactly what John did for us in this passage of scripture. The new new Word that Jesus brought was a new beginning.

Nothing about the new beginning delineated the beginning we read about in Genesis. The word who was God completed it.

We read in John 1:1-8, “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 were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.”

The Word became my friend when I was five years old. Back in the 1950’s children under the age of four or five generally were playing at church during Sunday School. When we went to Kindergarten we were deemed to be old enough to sit still for a lesson from the Bible.

The Word that we were given was simple and to the point. That’s actually the best way even when we’re old and gray.

In Kindergarten Sunday School I learned simple Bible Verses. We learned that “Jesus Loves the children”. That made me really really happy because there were people I knew who didn’t like children. One of my Great-Grandfathers was a stodgy old farmer. He didn’t have time for children and I was a little afraid of him. When we went to his farm I hid behind my dad. I think I knew he didn’t like children so I stayed very quiet and hidden.

Because I knew there were adults who didn’t like children I thought it was wonderful that Jesus loved children. I knew Jesus loved me.

In Sunday School we also learned “God so loved the world that He sent His Son”. We learned that “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son” (I John 4:10).

I loved Sunday School in Kindergarten because I loved my teacher. She was kind and soft spoken. She never (ever) made me feel like I was bothering her. She always had time for me. She even came and sat with me when I had my tonsils taken out. I didn’t know why at the time but she could go with me anywhere in the hospital. She sat with me when they gave me medicine to go to sleep. When I woke up she was there holding my hand. They would not let my Mom in the room I was taken to before and after the surgery but they let my Sunday School teacher come in. I found out later that she was a nurse at that hospital. She even watched the operation.

My Sunday School teacher’s name was Joy. It was a fitting name for her.

In Sunday School my teacher would tell wonderful stories. The stories she told made the Bible come to life.

Scripture also tells us in Luke 9:35, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!”

I grew to love the Words I read in scripture. That was partly because of my teacher and partly because I saw my dad read the Bible a lot. He taught Adult Sunday School and He studied His Bible every day.

My Sunday School teacher didn’t just talk about loving. She loved.

Scripture says in James 1:22, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only.”

My dad also loved people. He really loved them. If someone needed something he was there. One time when I was about ten years old a man from church came to our house. I was told to go to my bedroom to read (that was my favorite thing to do). I heard the man yelling at my dad. My dad didn’t yell back. After that day my dad was still kind to that man. I couldn’t understand why. I wanted to hit him. But instead of yelling at the man, my dad simply stated what he believed and he continued to love the man. After that I never liked that man.

I found out later that the man was mad because my dad was an Elder in the church and he believed women could be called to ministry. Decades before I was ministry, my dad was fighting for women in ministry…my right to teach the Word.

Even though Seminary (M.Div) was by far the most difficult undertaking in my life, it was worth every minute. It is one of the great privileges of my life. Studying Hebrew was an honor (even though I thought Hebrew Grammar would kill me). I didn’t have an opportunity to study Greek, but since Seminary I constantly study it. It was (is) important to me to learn The Word as it was initially written.

Moses and the Prophets preceded the Word.

Jesus was (is) the Word and the Word was with God.

The Word Is God.

My dad went to be with Jesus when I was 34 years old. That was a long time ago. I’ve now lived as many years without him as I lived with him.

My Mom now lives in a large retirement village. One day I went to the cafeteria to eat with her and you’d never guess who we sat with…my Sunday School teacher from the kindergarten class at my church. I had the opportunity to tell her how much her class meant to me when I was young. I told her I remembered her sitting with me at the hospital when I had my tonsils removed. I remembered she was there when I woke up.

She remembered.

She KNEW me when I was very young and she loved me.

She was Jesus to me.

The last time I saw her she was in her nineties.

The truth is early influence from people who loved me helped me to fall in love with Jesus.

Spiritual Practice: Love

Love Jesus. Love others to Jesus.

In God, Deborah


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