John 1:1-18
Paraphrase by Jim Stamper

Initially there was a pattern for everything.
The pattern was God's; God was the pattern.
The pattern was always God.
Everything came from that pattern.
There isn't anything else.
The pattern is both the source of life and the meaning of life.
It is a way of being alive in opposition to death, and death cannot overcome it.

God sent a man named John to tell people about the possibilities of this way of being alive in opposition to death so everybody would trust the source of life. John wasn't the source of life; he taught how to recognize the pattern. The true pattern, the source and meaning of everybody's life, was coming to people.

To some people, however, life, and what life is all about, is unrecognizable. Some who could be expected to see the possibilities of this way of being alive select death instead. Others embrace life. They trust what life offers.

Life offers something more intense than the strongest family ties: obtaining a new parent, God, the source, the meaning of life itself.

The initial pattern for everything that is became a human being and lived among us.

We experienced how awesome that is: as awesome as a newborn baby is to its daddy, the gift of life and all its possibilities.

Jim Stamper
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
PO Box 666
Woodstock, VA 22664