Reflections for Lent

In contrast to the other evangelists, the author of St Johnís Gospel from his very first words creates a different climate. Rather than the historical, indeed genealogical, openings of the Synoptic Gospels, the author set a philosophical tone: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God." But here the Greek logoscarries with it a depth of meaning that its English counterpart fails to bring. The Greek word means ìthat by which the inner thought is expressedî. The concept of inner thought, as the Anglican Dean of Belfast in this attractive Lenten book is well aware, lies as the heart of any insight into the Gospel. He provides a series of reflections suitable, not just for the weekly reader or for the group, but also for those who like to read a Lent book straight through at once – which rather defeats the idea one would have thought.

But he also emphasises that these reflections are merely thoughts of his that bounced back from looking at the original text, and that it is the actual text, not the reflection, that is important.