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Life and Light…As Seen in a Poetic Prologue – Grit & Grace


(Photo: Pixabay)

Do you read the stuff you find at the beginning of a book? The Introduction, Preface, or Prologue of a story helps you understand what to expect, welcoming you to the story like the stage curtain rising invites you into a play or musical. 

One of my favorite synonyms for prologue is warm-up. Just like getting your mind and body ready for a workout, the prologue helps set the stage for what you’re about to read. I’m thinking that holds true for poetic prologues too. Life and light in poetry.

Reading more poetry is inspiring me to write more poetry too.

Feel the rhythm.

As the only gospel account with a prologue, the Gospel of John’s first 18 verses provide a preview to the Gospel. Some commentators wonder if it was originally written as a poem that was later adapted. There’s definitely a rhythm to the words used –  word with God and was God, light in darkness, glory of grace and truth, grace upon grace. 

John’s trying to tell us who Jesus is, and he was inspired to use poetry to prepare us for the story he’s been tasked to tell. Poetic prose inspired by the Spirit. The same Spirit that chose the powerful (and poetic) self-expression we read about in the creation account, and God’s ultimate self-expression and disclosure in the person of Jesus.

“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.” John 1:14 MSG

In the beginning…

The first three words are identical, and just one of the parallels between the books of Genesis and John. The light of creation, and the light of redemption and salvation. A light that darkness will never overcome. Light that gives light to everyone.

The Message translation of John refers to Jesus as the God-Revealing Life-Light. Jesus makes God plain as day, revealing who he really is. His light also reveals who I really am – my true self. My child-of-God self. I love that reminder….another Message translation gem.

Come and you will see.

John the Evangelist knew and loved Jesus. His gospel account invites us to do the same. John’s words shed light on the true light. An invitation to get to know Jesus a little better.

Honest inquiry is a sovereign cure for prejudice.

F. F. Bruce

Come and see. A simple phrase in verse 46 that Philip shares with his friend, Nathanael. Friend to friend, saying words Jesus had shared just a few verses before that. Nothing fancy, no theological platitudes. Just come and see. Follow me.

I’m receiving those words as an invitation for myself too. A call to keep things simple as I seek to follow the Author of my faith. As the Spirit-inspired the author of John to poetically prepare us for his gospel account, I’ve decided to take a more poetic approach to my beloved study. I’ll use a different poetry prompt to inspire my writing on each of the 21 chapters of John.

Life and light in poetry.

Come and see, Becky. Follow me. 

“You haven’t seen anything yet!”

John 1:50 MSG

Used with permission from Becky Gonzalez.

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