It was only recently that I realised the connexion between the Greek word “logos” (rendered as “Word” in most English translations of John’s Gospel) and the English word “logic”. This may seem obvious but to me it was a eureka moment transforming the significance of the incarnation in an explosion of light.
We live in a logical universe. To the eye of faith this logic is of God, it is divine. Every atom is infused with it, every moment is governed by it, it is the ultimate reality, it is non-negotiable. The incredible mystery of the incarnation is that this divine logic has been expressed in the human life of a man born in a remote corner of the Roman Empire who grew up in obscurity, spent a couple of years in a teaching and healing ministry authenticated by its grace and truth alone, died an ignominious death as a blasphemer yet some 2,000 years on is acknowledged as Lord by over 2 billion people world-wide.
To put it the other way round, the way of living that we see in this Jesus, the way of justice for the poor and under-privileged, the way of comfort and healing for those who suffer in body, mind or spirit, and perhaps supremely the way of gracious, forgiving acceptance of those who hurt or offend us is not some freakish, altruistic utopia but is the logical way, the way the universe is meant to be. Jesus had a name for a world in tune with such logic. He called it the Kingdom of God.
It follows that whoever is living in harmony with the way of Jesus, whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, atheist or of any other persuasion, though they rail at God with Stephen Fry or sneer with Richard Dawkins, are living logically, they are heirs of that kingdom, they belong to it.
By contrast whatever is in denial of that way: war, cruelty, greed, prejudice, resentment, indifference to suffering, is not simply wrong, it is illogical, in denial of the logic of the universe, or to use the vivid metaphor of the risen Christ to the apostle Paul it is “kicking against the pricks” – and as such is an alien intrusion, out of harmony with the purpose of the universe, it does not belong.