John 1:16: It's All Groovy Like a Movie

John Shore

John 1:16 reads: "From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another."

I appreciate the phrase "one blessing after another" as a catalyst for challenging our usual perception of time and space. It's so easy to read those (now) common words, and think of God's blessings in our lives as discrete, sequentially engaged experiences and things. My home is a blessing; my spouse is a blessing; this meal, my health, this beautiful day ... they're all blessings. And they are, of course. But that easy way of  defining and apprehending our blessings leaves undefined the infinite number and kind of moments between all our more immediate, readily tangible blessings. It leaves a whole bunch of stuff on the table. What's the nature of all that stuff? How do we best understand all of those moments and experiences that exist around, behind, and in between---everything in our time and space that actually supports---our bigger, more obvious blessings?

I think John 1:16 is a wonderful reminder that it's all a blessing. There is no moment, no experience, no perception, no context, nothing that is not an extension or manifestation of God's grace to us. (As to the quick and obvious argument against that idea, please see my Evil! Surprise! It's a Good Thing!) I think we live in the middle of God's mind. I know that's the kind of statement that makes our Guardians of Doctrinal Correctness wake up and reach for their Big Book of Biblical Brouhaha, but you know what I mean. Everything between the cracks is also God. I think "one blessing after another" is a cool little reminder that, like the individual frames of a film, the true blessings of our lives follow one another so rapidly that it's simply not possible for us to register where one ends, and the next begins.

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Previous posts in this series: The Trinity Explained in Four Sentences: A Look at John 1:1-4John 1:5: The Archer's Grief., and John 1:6-15: No One Writes Better.

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