The Worship Quote of the Week for (12/17/2002):

Life-Light, John 1:1-19
Todayís WORSHIP QUOTE is one of those passages of Scripture that helps us see
the Bethlehem event in its place in the grand story of redemption. These
verses form the Prologue to the Gospel of John (John 1:1-18). Try reading
them out loud, followed by singing "Of the Fatherís Love Begotten."

The Word was first,
the Word present to God,
God present to the Word.
The Word was God,
in readiness for God from day one.

Everything was created through him;
Nothingónot one thing!ó
came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldnít put it out.

There once was a man, his name John, sent by God to point out the way to
the Life-Light. He came to show everyone where to look, who to believe in.
John was not himself the Light; he was there to show the way to the Light.

The Life-Light was the real thing;
Every person entering Life
he brings into Light.
He was in the world,
the world was there through him,
and yet the world didnít even notice.
He came to his own people,
but they didnít want him.
But whoever did want him,
who believed he was who he claimed
and would do what he said,
He made to be their true selves,
their child-of-God selves.
These are the God-begotten,
not blood-begotten,
not flesh-begotten,
not sex-begotten.

The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.

John pointed him out and called, "This is the One! The One I told you
was coming after me but in fact was ahead of me. He has always been ahead of
me, has always had the first word."

We all live off his generous bounty,
gift after gift after gift.
We got the basics from Moses,
and then this exuberant giving and receiving,
This endless knowing and understandingó
all this came through Jesus, the Messiah.
No one has ever seen God,
not so much as a glimpse.
This one-of-a-kind God-Expression,
who exists at the very heart of the Father,
has made him plain as day.

ó John 1:1-18 from Eugene Petersonís THE MESSAGE: THE NEW TESTAMENT IN
CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH, Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1993, p. 184. ISBN

[Do we still see that one-of-a-kind glory? Do we long for it to be the
purpose and power of our worship? Personally? Corporately? May the Glory of
God in the face of Christ Jesus be the focus of our worship and the source of
grace and truth in our lives and in our Christian congregations!]

Have a great day!

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky