There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave the power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. 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. John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.'” From his fullness, we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 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. [NRSA]
As much as John’s Gospel of Jesus remembers the signs, wonders, and miracles, his method is to communicate the who and why of Jesus.
In this opening discourse, we see that WORD spoken was present in creation, present with humanity, and will be with us through the culmination of creation and for eternity. The bottom line is that the word, Jesus, God, the Spirit, is one presence. A power that is not limited by time and space. A power and presence that is motivated by love and desire to create, share and entrust.
- Darkness demands light.
- Chaos demand order
- Emptiness demand love.
- Spirit desires flesh
- Flesh is dependent on Spirit.
It is a system, a cycle, and covenant of God’s choosing that you and I have life, choice, and
A growing group of postmodern adults who were given too many choices and not enough responsibility, now look at the world without the need for God, interpreting reality as the product of random chance of science. The detailed beauty and exceptional rarity of a human being to progress beyond the capacity of the rest of reality to have the self-awareness to arrogantly find more peace in existence that is void of purpose rather than accept God’s handiwork as creation and expression of love.
John’s introduction reflects a reading of the parable of Job found in the Old Testament. When Job finally questions God’s purpose in all the evil and brokenness that Job experiences, God asks if Job were present at creation? Did Job design the rules? If Job did have the power and reason for creation, why did he make someone like Job in the first place? Job does not have a satisfactory answer, nor do we, nor do those who disregard God’s design, purpose, and usefulness of each of us in creating us out of love, to learn how to learn, to choose to love as we have been loved.
What do all these lofty ideas have to do with us at the beginning of a new year, at the end of the season of Christmas? Oh, did you forget, Christmas is a season of 12 days? It is not four weeks leading up to a single day…. did the decorations come down and return to their storage? Are the parties over? Have we moved on; we have.
What does John 1 have to do with Christmas? The babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger is the same WORD that was spoken into the creation at the start. Jesus is not an afterthought. Jesus is not a course correction. Jesus is central to the team, from the beginning of the dynasty and will not be leaving us, or forsaking us.
The Word spoken into the world is the Word that becomes flesh. The Word is not a collection of church-created or majority-voted documents and doctrines, the Word is God’s method of communication.
Prayer is about the Word, spoken, heard, sung, slept over, awakened to, prophesied, and fulfilled.
Prayer is one of the primary expressions of God with us that is beyond a single season of worship or celebration. Prayer is the highway, long before any idea of the internet, we have access to the one greater than any googly amount of information.
The Word is also a promise. God’s promises are called covenants. There are differences in our promises, contracts, and agreements. A Covenant is a declaration that the intent will be made good, even if we do not keep our end of the relationship, God will complete, what God has begun.
Prayers, Covenants, and Prophecies
The scripture is filled with prayers and covenants that are communicated in the form of prophetic promises. Some are clouded and vague, others are as obvious as they are trustworthy and true.
Many times, the prophets would tell the leaders and the people, “You need to live faithfully, trusting God and not yourselves or other nations, nor other ideas or you will be corrupted, defeated, and displaced.” and sure enough, God’s people would trust themselves, their faulty leaders or fears of neighbor’s threats and they would be devastated, destroyed, and divided.
When we find ourselves in a place of being divided, we need to see the obvious state of being “Out of bounds” “Out of line” Out of relationship” and seek God’s promises to find out way back ‘in’ with God.
Prayer, Covenants, Prophecies, and Participation
There is where we weave Christmas back into our lives. Christmas is about God living in the flesh. Dr. Mallard of Candler days loved to give the Chili-Con-Carni example. “Con-Carni” fancy words for “with meat” are similar words of In-car-nation. In the Flesh, God chooses to be “in the flesh” in the meat” of our struggle.
We used the image of “meaty” to mean the more meaningful part of a conversation or activity in our lives. Jesus comes to the most important and valued part of our existence and relationship, live WITH us.
- The word of God was in the beginning
- The Word of God moved in WITH in Christ
- The Word of God continues to be spoken, heard, and shared and the Incarnation continues as we are the body of Christ for the world.
In this way, Christmas is never over, we remain those who are daily learning to choose to follow and trust Christ, so that Christ might be seen, heard, felt, known, and shared through our words and actions.
If we have already returned to normal in the middle of the celebration, it is like leaving the GA/AL game in the third quarter. You never know what might happen. Do not assume.
CALL TO ACTION
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