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Christmas 2015


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The Word became Flesh

Reading John 1, verses 1 - 14

Introduction:
This Gospel Reading is usually known as the Prologue of St. John’s Gospel. Traditionally it is the last Reading in a Service of Lessons and Carols. When used as such it is a declaration of faith, and the congregation should be asked to stand as a recognition
“This is what we believe!”

And so to our text:- John 1, verses 1 - 14
The themes which are introduced in the Prologue such as life, light, darkness, witness, faith, glory, and truth are further developed throughout the Gospel of John.
The opening verse are a declaration that the Logos, “The Word” - Christ - was not only with God in creation (Genesis), He “was God”! God the Father creating the world through His Word, the Son. It is not only John who develops this theme; it is the subject of St. Paul’s “creed” in Colossians 1, verses 15 - 20. “all things were created through Him and for Him”.

In the beginning God breathed into man “the breath of Life”. In this opening passage St. John sets out the theme to be developed later in the Gospel. Here, dwelling among us is “Eternal Life”, the Word incarnate. (see John, 3:16; 4:14; 6:68 etc.)

The Life was not only active in creation, He was the sustaining power, working in and through the universe which he had made. “The Life was the Light of men.” The Light of Christ could not and cannot be extinguished by darkness. Something to hang onto when the spirit of fear and hopelessness is abroad in the world.

The verses 6 - 8 are an interruption in the “Logos Hymn”. They explain who John the Baptist was and his role as the Forerunner, the witness to the Light.

The true Light, the creative Word, God Himself was coming into His world. The world which He had created and which is sustained by Him. And He was not recognised - worse, He was not wanted!

But to those who did and do receive Him, those who believe in, and accept Christ as Lord, he gives them the authority, power and right to become children of God. The New Birth in Christ is a gift from God Himself.
See John 3: 1- 21.

So “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us”.
The literal translation of this is “The Word became flesh and was tabernacled among us”. He dwelt in a tent! Again St. John takes us back to the Old Testament, to the “wilderness wanderings” of the Israelites as they sought the Promised Land. “The glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 40, verse 34).

The Glory of Christmas is that in the Babe of Bethlehem, God Himself was present with us. Can we say with St. John - “We have beheld His Glory. The Glory as of the only begotten Son from the Father”. If we can then we can rejoice that we are “Children of God”


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©TWB Rural Matters 2015
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