John opens his gospel by speaking about The Word who was with God. The Greek word translated “with” literally means “towards” and may carry the idea of two persons face to face. The Message paraphrases,
The Word present to God,
God present to the Word
So before anything existed there were two persons in relationship: the Word and God. Towards the end of his prologue John will call The Word “Son” and he will call God “Father”. “No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known” (NRSV 1:18). So God’s very being must now be understood as essentially personal, dynamic and relational.
In another place, John tells us that God is love (1 John 4.16). John does not say God has love or God is loving. He says, “God IS love”. When we hear the words “God is Love,” we usually think first of God’s love towards us. No wonder! His love towards us is so wonderful! However, before we talk about God’s love towards us we must talk about God as love within himself. Our God is love because he is three persons in love relationship. (John will speak later about a third person). The Father has always loved the Son. The Son has always loved the Father. In the love of the Spirit, these two have always been turned towards one another in self-giving love. And God’s love for us is an expression of God’s faithfulness to his own eternal life, which is essentially communal love.