"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning." John 1:1
This is one of the most quoted, and I think most complex, passages in Scripture. I am no Bible Scholar so just take this as one woman's eyes and ears and heart and mind. Just that first verse is so full of metaphor and meaning.
According to Strong's Concordance, the word beginning refers to the origin, the active cause, the first person or thing in a series. If we take that to be true, then when John starts his book "In the beginning," he is calling to mind the origins not just our faith but of the world we live in. The other gospels tend to be narrative while John's starts with a reflective look at this history of faith. In one phrase.
What was in the beginning? The Word. Huh? How can the Word be in the beginning? What is the Word and why is it important? And what's with the capital letter? Again, with Strong's as my source, word is that which is uttered by a living voice, or "the essential Word of God."
Is John saying words existed in the beginning? John is referring here to Jesus, the Word of God, who was called into life the way the rest of the world was called into being: by his uttered breath. Anyone else think that's cool? And let us not miss the point that as it was "in the beginning" and essentially of God, then it (the Word) carries with it the same authority and holiness as the breath that uttered it into life.
I will spare you my own application of this verse, but thought you might like chewing on that for a while.
Another interesting part of this early part of this chapter is the contrast between light and dark. And while we think we know the difference between dark and light, a look to the concordance elucidates (you heard me) this point. Light is the literal emission of light from a light giving object, but Strong's also says that it is used of God as "delicate, subtle, pure, brilliant." (Sidenote here: I do not usually think of light as delicate, neither do I think of God that way, so there's that.) Light can refer to truth and knowledge and also spiritual purity, and finally the power of understanding.
So, if one is in the light, then one is exposed to understanding, purity, brilliance, and power. It begs the obvious question about its opposite.
Darkness is defined as lack of light. I love definitions like that. Duh. But it's more than that. It refers to ignorance of divine things, and also those things which are related to "wickedness." Oooohh. Sounds bad, right?
Parsing it out, it paints a vibrant picture. Live in the light and be granted access to all those things Christians are pursuing. And you know, even a tiny pinprick of light is still light.