Thursday, December 25, 2014

Mind-bending Incarnation

Merry Christmas!

"The worship of the Shepherds - Henri Lerolle - Bible Artwork Vol. 9

TODAY'S SPECIAL: John 1:1-14

TO CHEW ON: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

I love how, on Christmas day—today—our reading pulls us back, way back, to the beginning of time: "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" - John 1:1. There, in those moments at the birth of time, we see Word, creating life and light - John 1:3-5.

In the next verses we zoom forward and see a God-sent messenger—John (the Baptist)—with a message about that Light. It's about Light who has become a Person already on earth: "In the world…"  - John 1:10.

Our "Aha"s begin to click here as we grasp John's mysterious words. It sounds like he is talking about the Creator Word we just met in verses 1-3. But how sad: "… He came to His own and and His own did not receive Him."

Then, if there's any doubt left, John dispels it: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us..." John 1:14.

And that is why Christmas is a really big deal: because Creator Word became Baby Word so that we could again be friends with (reconciled to) God. You will recall that humankind's friendship with God was broken when Adam and Eve sinned (Romans 5:12), but repaired by Jesus' (Word's) death, making this reconciliation possible (Romans 5:10,11).

This friendship repair—reconciliation—comes to each of us individually through a spiritual birth. John talks about that here too: "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man but of God" - John 1:12,13.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for this good news—the gospel in fourteen verses. Words fail to express my incredulity, wonder, and thanks at your mind-bending incarnation.

MORE: Christmas Day

Today the church celebrates Christmas Day. The Christmas liturgy begins with this prayer:

O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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