Friday, December 17, 2010

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

John 1:1      In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. 4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. 
    6  God sent a man, John the Baptist, 7 to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. 8 John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. 9 The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 
   10  He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

Like Mark, John, also began his Gospel story at the beginning of Christ's adult ministry through the three years to his Crucifixion, resurrection and Ascension. The nativity narrative that we celebrate as Christmas, is subsumed in the general statement about the entire Old Testament era from creation forward to Christ's coming with verses 1 through 5. The major points of creation are covered: Creation, Fall, and Redemption. The person of the the Trinity called The Son, was also named The Word. With this description so compact in its theology, John clarifies how God, became human, but was nevertheless always God as well. It clarifies how Christ, or "The Word" 'already existed prior to the beginning. It clarifies how He was the force of creating all that was made. And, it sets the stage for the rest of John's Gospel to describe how this all powerful Word, submitted Himself to becoming human, and to suffering under the rejection and torture by humanity that He had, Himself created! 

Next, John's nativity story is the coming of The Baptist as one called to bring a witness to The Light. Jesus was 'The Light." John merely points Him out to humanity as the announcer. So, this Gospel presents Christ, Jesus as The Word, as God, as The Light of God, as The Redeemer, and the One through whom we become reborn into a new Holy Nature that is in the likeness of God.  The several wonderful points packed into the Apostle John's narrative's first 13 verses, are worthy of careful reflection today. I encourage us all to think about each verse and then offer a prayer of praise to God for what He has done for us through Christ the Lord and Savior.

Make this part of your Christmas remembering along with the traditional visions of the baby, the manger, the star, the shepherds, angels, and Magi. Keep Christ the Lord, your Redeemer at the very center of your Christmas thinking and praying.

Your servant in Christ's love

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