GRACE MERCY AND PEACE ARE YOURS FROM THE BLESSED CHRIST CHILD!
TEXT: John 1: 1-14 with emphasis on vs. 14: “The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Dearly Beloved in the Baby Jesus:
The most profound words ever written by any human being were just read. And they are the reason that Christmas will never cease to dazzle mere mortals until the end of time and beyond. Although they need no explanation, I’m going to explain exactly why that is true.
“The Word.” Earlier St. John tells us what that phrase really means in vs. 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.” That Babe in Bethlehem’s manger, Jesus Christ, was, is, and always will be the eternal Son of God. Because He is totally interconnected in Oneness to the Father and the Spirit, that means He is also 100% God, and now since His incarnation also 100% man. Before time was created, before the world was called into being, He existed. The Divine nature of the Baby Jesus is without beginning, without end, the universe is contained within Him. Every planet, every star, every galaxy and every black hole are all products of His mind and will. All of them are ultimately contained in Him because He is the limitless God Almighty! Try wrapping your head around that truth!
“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 men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” The Bethlehem Babe is the light of the world. He created light as we know it, but in actuality light comes from Him, alone. It is part of His core essence in contrast to darkness. Light brings happiness to creation. It brings life. It lifts everything and everyone out of darkness, despair, and death. He is the antithesis of darkness. Darkness cannot understand Him. Darkness has nothing to do with Him. Evil hides within darkness, but the Light shines and glows even when evil seems to reach its darkest moment. And so it will always be!
Then St. John speaks of John the Baptist who came to testify to the Light and to prepare the world, the field of human hearts, in order to receive such living Light. John’s message can be distilled down to one simple, yet pregnant sentence: “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.” Think of that! God came to give the spark of His eternal light to mere mortals, every human, regardless of race, color, creed, or sex. Yes, “For God so loved the world that He gave His One and only Son.”
“He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.” Why? Because human evil, human sin, blinds us to the purity of God’s Light. God’s light and love are intertwined in Jesus. And sinful humans cannot wrap their minds around the truth that God would share such profundity with us, “wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”
“He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” For over 6000 years, throughout OT history, countless prophecies had been made about this coming Light, this coming Savior. One group in particular, the children of Abraham, were the God-ordained keepers of this amazing truth. But when the Light came to them, most ignored, rejected, and heaped abuse upon the Light. 33 years after His birth they even tried to snuff out the light with crucifixion. But the Light is eternal! It cannot be blacked out. Jesus arose from the dead! He lives! Yes, He is risen! (He is risen, indeed!)
Since the Light of the world is for all people, Pentecost occurred. The message, the Word, was spread around the world to everyone. God offered and still offers His Light to all! “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of god—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” Do you believe in the Baby Jesus? Do you look into the manger and see the most amazing miracle before which even the creation of the universe pales in comparison? Do you see the infinite God contained in finite flesh, lying in a manger and welcoming you with a smile on His face and a twinkle in His eye? For that is the truth of Christmas!
Yes, “The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Full of grace and truth. That Baby is filled to the brim with God’s undeserved, unfathomable love for simple, humble, stumbling, lost, forlorn, seemingly forgotten about: you! He came to give you His love. He came to give you His forgiveness. And since He is eternal, never-ending, so is His love and forgiving heart extended towards you today.
There you have it. Now you know why this Christmas Gospel from St. John is the most profound, deep, and amazing bunch of words ever written or even conceived. Take them to heart and when you do you’ll actually be embracing the Baby Jesus, the Word made flesh. But even more importantly, He’ll be embracing you with an eternal grip of eternal life! Amen