As part of my spiritual discipline in these days of enforced isolation, I am reading through the Gospel of John. As I go, intend to share brief ruminations in this space.

These reflections will not be geared specifically to the current circumstances we are facing; I will leave that for the COVID Diaries. Rather, I hope here to reflect on the universal significance of the words I read and try to find what spiritual practice they may point towards in order to deepen my life in Christ.

I am calling these meditations JwJ – you can read this as either “Journeying with John” or “Journeying with Jesus”. Warning: this will be a slow journey.

1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  2 He was in the beginning with God.  3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.

We live in a world where words are cheap. In Jesus’ day, words were powerful. They were events; words were understood to do things; they made things happen. So “the Word” is a force; it transmits energy. All life is made up of invisible energy.

Christ, Spirit, love, Word, God, energy – all refer to the same reality. They all point towards the force and power of life that permeates all of existence, that flung the stars into space and powers the fluttering of a humming bird’s wings.

In Christian tradition we say that Jesus fully embodied this energy of life. In history he was the full manifestation of the vital life force.

But we too are called to be the incarnation of the life-energy that is “the light of all people.”

Christian faith is in the energy business. It is the goal of Christian spiritual practice to help us become aware of and open to the reality of the energy that is the at the source of all life and that sustains all life.

We seek, not so much to do right things, or even to believe right things, but to live in alignment with that energy we see manifest in Jesus. We seek to allow our lives to come into harmony with the energy field of love.

This has been the human program set forth from the beginning. It is expressed early in the sacred text of our tradition in words God is said to have spoken through Moses saying,

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life… (Deut. 30:19)

What does it mean for me to go towards life? How do I “choose life” when I am hurt, angry, or fearful? What are the practices in my life that might help me open more deeply to the presence of that beauty, truth and goodness that are my true nature?