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Thrill Chill

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. John 1:4

In the early 1980s, I sold stereo equipment at a catalog showroom store (Brendle's) in South Carolina. We had a soundproof room with a selection of disc changer CD players, turntables, tuners, and speakers where shoppers could try out the different equipment. My favorite part of the job, even when I wasn't waiting on a customer, was to spend time in this room. Digital had begun to replace analog, and the difference in the sound quality was seismic. During slow sales periods, I would escape into this sanctuary of sound and crank the Dire Straights "Brothers in Arms" album. To this day, I get thrill chills when "Money for Nothing" comes on.

If there's one gospel that gives me the spiritual thrill chill, it's that of John. I love the other gospels, but I admire John's boldness in stating the divinity of Jesus Christ and his role in the Trinity in its opening verses. To me, spiritually, they are akin to the beginning of "Money for Nothing" with its use of synthesizer and drum–it's no-nonsense, rolling up the sleeves and getting down to business.

In the first three verses, John says that Jesus was in the beginning with God. In Genesis 1:1, thousands of years before the Spirit dwelt upon Mary and the baby Jesus was born, He existed with the Father and the Spirit. Jesus, God's spoken Word, brought everything into existence, and it could not have happened without Him. Jesus was the Word when the Israelites heard God's voice in the Old Testament. For the Greeks, he was the logos, the divine reason implicit in the cosmos, which provided form and meaning. So, both for the Jew and Gentile, John unabashedly announces that the wait is over; the Word (the logos) has come. 

Jesus brought something else in his coming: life and light. Yes, he had given us breath in creation–biological life–but he brought us a new kind of life in coming. Through him, the veil between the earthly and heavenly is open, and by the Spirit, we begin to comprehend that which was incomprehensible. We receive insight into who God is and what he desires of us. 

And Jesus ushered light into darkness. In the light, we are given a new kind of sight, seeing with the eyes of God. By the Spirit, we are given discernment to know what is good and evil and the power to resist what is wrong in God's eyes. In accepting Jesus, we become bearers of his light to share with others. The more light there is, the more the darkness dissipates.

While there's much I still need to learn about God, I trust in the Word. I believe Jesus was there in the void and brought everything into being, and he came to bring new life and light into the darkness for you and me, and that gives me a thrill chill.

Father God, the light of Jesus has shone into our hearts. We trust Him as our Savior and Lord. May His love radiate through us so that it is not us who shine but Christ's light within us. May we continue to walk in His light, bearing witness to His love and grace. As John the Baptist prayed, may we decrease, and Jesus increase in our lives. In His name, we pray. Amen


Pastor Tim

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