In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but 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 to be through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him. But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God. And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only-begotten Son, full of grace and truth. John testified to him and cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ “From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The only-begotten Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him. (John 1:1-18)
On the last day of a very trying year, we read the “Christmas Gospel.” It is the foundational message for all who profess that they are followers of Christ.
It’s the incredible and awesome mystery of God becoming man. It’s the gift of God pitching his tent among us and remaining in our lives forever.
You get that, right?
Sometimes I wonder why every Christian isn’t jumping for joy every day. Then I remind myself that too often the realities of a strife laden world eat away at our very soul. When it does, we stumble backward into believing that Christianity is a religion. That’s our second mistake after letting the anxieties of our world sap our strength. It was never intended to be a religion. Jesus Christ came to invite us into a partnership with Him and with God, Our Father.
God became human so that humans could become divine. Think about that!
You would think that when God himself decided to dwell among us to give us the answer and show us the way, we would welcome him eagerly and gladly. Sadly, such is not the case.
The negativity, the violence, the anger, the discord, the polemic of hate are all signs of humans turning their back on God. But that is not who we are. That is not why God took on human nature.
In every way he could, he became man for us. Born from a human mother, in a damp cave, raised as a child by an earthly mother and father, grown as a man who led the simplest life, knew hatred, scorned by many and ultimately beaten, scourged and hung on a cross to die. To die so that we could live with Him. He came to a place and people broken, and in the end was broken himself.
But you get that, right?
What we don’t get enough to internalize is that human beings are the tangible, outward, and visible signs and carriers of God’s inward and spiritual presence. If we did, the implications are profound. It changes how we see ourselves and one another, the way we live, our actions, and our words.
As long as humans have existed, we have sensed that we were not something that we ought to be. As long as we have been wounded by family, friends or strangers, we have doubted our worth. The cure for all the fractured suffering of the human heart, all the terror we visit upon one another, all the guilt we bear with bent spines our whole lives, all the horrible, condemning voices, lies in His gift of Himself to you and me.
God became human so that humans could become divine.
Jesus shouts down the negative voices in our ears with His message: “You are worth everything to me! I’ll make you good! You don’t need to die. I came to do it for you. Then you’ll really live!”
Prayer of The Day
“Almighty God and Father of light, your eternal Word leaped down from heaven in the silent watches of the night. Open our hearts to receive his life and increase our vision with the rising of dawn, that our lives may be filled with his glory and his peace.”
Jesus is not like some distant relative that you see every couple of years. He wants to take up residence in your life. He wants to be the “go-to” person of your life. He wants to be engaged and involved. Most often we think of God as being up there, far removed from the cares and concerns of this created world. But because Jesus became a man God came down here, living in our midst. We could never reach him up there, but in love he came down here to us. He became touchable, approachable, and reachable.