Posted on Tue, Dec 27, 2011
December 25, 2011 Nativity of our Lord/Christmas Day
Gospel Text: John 1:1-14
The Word Became Flesh
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
As I was working on the sermons for this Christmas, I closed the door and curtains, took out my bibles and commentaries and was nestled behind my desk worked up a theological frenzy. Things were mostly quiet until my son called me before lunch. The phone call brought me out of this theological haze and I left my dark office and stepped into the bright sunlight of noontime.
I love to study and learn, up to my armpits in great books, and the Christmas story, whether it is from Luke, John or Matthew, they are all very revealing, it wasn't until I stepped out onto our church parking lot did the theological connection between the word, “Logos” as in the “Word” in the opening verse in our Gospel text: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” and the world around me.
It is great to study a concept, but to see the essence of the concept “come alive” all around me was amazing.
This “Word” spoken about is an active word full of the concept of creating, revealing and redeeming. When I went from the darkness of my office out to my car, I saw people coming to ANC hungry and looking very concerned and distressed, I saw other people walking home with bags of food and looking a little bit more relieved in their struggles. I heard laughter and talk-story going on, tons of “Mahalo’s!” and “Aloha’s!” I saw old friends sharing hugs and kisses and people inviting the newcomers to come and get some food or clothing.
What I witnessed was the Word becoming Flesh through the goodness of sharing all that we have been blessed with.
This Word we have been blessed with today, “Logos” is the same word that is used in the Creation Story. It is a word full of action, potential and promise!
The “Word” which is Greek, pronounced, “logos of God” is more than just a figure of speech; it is God in action.
It is God creating as it is written in Genesis 1.3; (Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light), meaning that the word has power. Through the Word, God created that which we call “light.” Or in Psalm 33.6 (By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of God’s mouth.)
“Logos” indicates that it is God revealing, like in Amos 3.7–8, (Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets. 8 The lion has roared; who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken; who can but prophesy?).
The “Logos” also tells us that it is God redeeming, as in Psalm 107.19–20 (Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress; 20 he sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from destruction. 21 Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.)
God’s “logos,” God’s word is busy creating, revealing and redeeming. Notice all the bible texts I read to you were from the Old Testament; I sometimes have trouble relating to the God of the Old Testament. I don’t know how to deal with burning bushes, pillars of fire and such. A few years ago we actually had to deal with 40 days of rain. (This may explain to you the real reason I bought a boat.) But this “logos” that John is talking about is Jesus. I can relate to Jesus. When there is a self-checkout line or a person at a cash register, I go to the person standing by the cash register, not the machine… I like people! I can even relate to babies. Like Moses I would have trouble conversing with God if God was speaking through a burning, yet, not burning bush… I am thankful God became a human. I have a lot more experience being a human. Through the birth of Christ, the incarnation, t is good to know that God understands what it means, “to really be human.”
But Christmas tells us very specifically that God can relate to everything in our human world, the good and the bad. Jesus laughed, Jesus wept, Jesus was hailed a king, and then Jesus was even betrayed. God feels! And God has come into our world as the greatest Servant King to continue creating and RE-creating us each and everyday. God has entered our world to reveal to us the Truth of God. God’s truth reveals to us that which we should pay attention to and also those things that should be a warning for us; meaning those things that would lead us away from God. God IS love, God IS mercy, God IS grace. God’s Light or God’s truth seen when we share love, do mercy and become grace for the world around us. Our forgiveness and mercy then, is found through the cross of Jesus.
And what is most amazing about today’s Christmas Gospel is that no kind of evil, injustice or darkness can overcome, or as the Greek would put it, “govern” the Light/Truth of God. No amount to hopelessness can stop God’s hopefulness! And in today’s world, this is very important. There are too many things out there to cause fear, cynicism, and hopelessness, but the Christmas message is telling us that there is nothing that is stronger than the love of God, even if God’s love is made known, and made manifest in a baby!!!!
Our celebration is all about giving thanks to the gift that God has come to us for a purpose! Through the Gospel of Jesus, God has come to Create, Reveal and Redeem!
This is made known when we worship God, serve our neighbor, proclaim the Good News, sing, dance, pray, forgive and just be followers of Christ. It is through your forgiven selves and through your faith, the Word becomes Flesh today, and lives and serves amongst us. Thanks be to God!
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