Thoughs from the book of John

This weekend I started reading the book of John again. Ever since I started to grasp the concept of having a personal relationship with Christ, I've been drawn to the gospel of John. Along with Romans and Acts, this book taught me a lot when I was a new Christian--and every time I read it, it comes alive in a new way...it's invigorating. I've only read the first two chapters this weekend, but here's what's stuck out to me this time around:


"God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He came into the very world he created, but the world didn't recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn--not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God." --John 1: 6-13

Last week a friend and I had a conversation about Jack Kerouac's Dharma Bums...one of my favorites. He asked why I liked it; I explained that I was 17 when I first read it and it was a portrait of the life I always dreamed of having. I clung to the book and dreamed up different lives for myself--in one life I was living in downtown New York, acting in a few shows here and there, writing during the day, drinking and smoking with interesting people at night conversing about the probability of time travel and the beauty that lies within simplistic living. In another life, I traveled across the country stopping here and there long enough to make enough money to get me to the next destination. I lived primarily in the back of my vehicle or in tents high up in the mountains beneath a velvet, starry sky. I loved The Dharma Bums because I knew I wasn't ballsy enough to take the risks associated with either of those lives; I could live vicariously through the novel. I explained this condensed version to my friend and he responded with, "Let's face it, if it weren't for the saving grace of Christ you would be chained to a tree at a logging facility in protest, burning candles and chanting in between meals of all-natural yogurt and free-range wheat germ, all while stoned on cheap wine and expensive weed." And though this might be a slight (and humorous) exaggeration, it set my thoughts ablaze. Without that rebirth John writes about in his first chapter, I would be a totally different person....I'd be lost; it scares me to think of how far off I'd be without Christ. I'm continually amazed at the concept of grace...I am totally unworthy of the kind of grace God has given me; yet...I am His.


"Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. But Jesus didn't trust them, because he knew human nature. No one needed to tell him what mankind is really like."

I don't think this passage needs much explaining. It makes me think about the many times where my faith has been superficial and conditional--and dependent on a crowd and lots of obvious signs and flashy things. And thinking about these times makes me ashamed.

As I continue learning from the book of John, I'll try to post more of my thoughts. They'll be fragmented and not very eloquent, so if you are interested in that kind of thing...check back :)

1 comment:

bob j said...

Humorous yes. But are you sure my quote is an exageration?!? : )

Great post, Danielle. The old saying is "There, but for the grace of God, go I." Sometimes those old sayings some it up pretty well. That's how they become "old" sayings!