“In the beginning God…” Wouldn’t you think that whatever comes next would be an important insight into the nature and purposes of whoever is being written about. It turns out that God is creator. Very soon after this (very soon in the text, not necessarily in the actuality) God is described as “making humankind in our image”. Again, creating; but more than just creating – extending, widening the community that they have revealed themselves to be. God is both singular and plural, unity and community, and at the very heart of this is a desire and purpose to make more and to embrace more. It would then seem reasonable that whatever community God creates should have the same heart as its creator.
Leap forward to the second stage of the Bible story (the New Testament) and we encounter the same God and almost the same idea at the beginning of John’s gospel. “In the beginning the word was with God and the word was God” – another description of the divine relational community. This time the heart of God is revealed in the attitude towards that created and rebellious humankind. The outward–looking love of God demands a self–action of incredible grace and mercy – to become flesh, to become one of us, and to live, give, serve and die for us and instead of us. Wouldn’t you think this action would result in a huge response from that very same humankind? Well, it does, and it doesn’t. It certainly sparked off a new movement that created a worldwide community of faith that gathers and organises itself internationally, nationally and locally. Yet individually I still struggle to embrace that same sense of self–sacrifice and selflessness that is characteristic of the founder of the new movement.
Maybe I should start deleting my selfies and start taking a few more othersies.