Thought for the day - Christmas
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
What is it I wonder, that makes Christmas so universally popular? I mean, people who never darken the doors of a church get really into it don’t they! I even have Jewish and Muslim friends who do so much of the Christmas festivity – Tree, decorations, gifts, turkey & tinsel, the lot. But why do YOU do it?
Well, we like to spend time with family and friends, have a special meal. Well, we can do that any time – after all, the Americans do the same at Thanksgiving – it can’t be just that.
What is it that makes peering into a crib, or dressing up children in tea towels and dressing gowns that makes us all so emotional and dewy eyed?
Could it be that in the crib we are reminded that Jesus was born in poverty, or that he and his family had to flee from tyranny, that prompts our kindness & generosity? Well, it can’t be that can it? – Look at the news; that happens every single day
Perhaps it is all those things, but perhaps deep deep down inside each one of us there is a realisation that there is something more, something much much more.
“In the beginning was the Word.” John calls Jesus the Word because he had come to see the words of Jesus as the truth of God and the person of Jesus as the truth of God in such a unified way that Jesus himself — in his coming, and working, and teaching, and dying and rising — was the final and decisive message of God.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The Word refers to Jesus Christ.
In verses 2–3 we are told some so so powerful and important truths about Jesus. “He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” The Word who became flesh and dwelt among us, taught us, healed us, rebuked us, protected us, loved us, and died for us, He created the universe.
Now, suppose a Muslim or a Jehovah’s Witness says, “God has no child, Jesus was not God, was not eternal —not eternally begotten — but rather Jesus was created. He was the first of creation. The highest of the high angels.” A special prophet as Muslims say, or as the Arians said it, “There was when he was not.” John has written precisely in a way that makes that impossible.
“And the Word was God.”
If we can believe that then we can see a light in these – or any other - times of darkness.
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Perhaps that is what we see. Deep down in our innermost selves, we see beyond the glitter and glitz, beyond the sentimentality of it all, beyond even the joy of human fellowship.
In that crib we see the essence of the creative love of the God who made us, the God who loves us so much that he came as one of us, to share the best and the worst of what we have made of His world..
And the Word was made 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.
As you enjoy your Christmas, as you look upon the crib, may you behold God’s glory and experience deep, deep inside you, His love, His grace and truth.