Readings: Isaiah 52:7-10 Hebrews 1:1-6 John 1:1-18
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.
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 Son,
full of grace and truth.
We use words as a way of communicating ourselves. And there are many different kinds of words: superficial, deep, constructive, destructive, factual, emotional, funny, sad, encouraging, discouraging, loving, abusive...
We use the words to glorify and praise, to support and distract, we use the word to express our feelings and our knowledge. But we use them also to curse and to blaspheme. We even use the words to lie and misguide.
God's Word is special. It is creative (as ours too can be). God's Word does not just communicate an idea. God’s WORD is active; it brings things into existence. Everything that exists flows from the creative Word of God. In a special way it brings into being; it gives life.
When our hands are full of mercy and goodness,
when our lips are full with compassionate smiles,
when our hearts are pure, uncomplicated
and receptive like the crib in Bethlehem,
when our lives are honest
and our bread shared with the poor
Then into our homes will enter
the Blessing of the Newborn Child
and we will meet Him in all our brothers
and we will feel God's presence among us
and see His glory in our lives.
Original essay by Dr James Allan Francis in “The Real Jesus and Other Sermons” © 1926 by the Judson Press of Philadelphia (pp 123-124 titled “Arise Sir Knight!”).
One Solitary Life
He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman.
He grew up in another village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.
He never wrote a book, He never held an office.
He never had a family or owned a home.
He didn’t go to college.
He never visited a big city.
He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born.
He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. He has no credentials but Himself.
He was only thirty-three when the tide of public opinion turned against Him.
His friends ran away.
One of them denied Him.
He was turned over to His enemies and went through the mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.
While He was dying, His executioners gambled for His garments, the only property He had on earth.
When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today He is the central figure of the Human race. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that one solitary life.
This Christmas night when we are celebrating the birth of this extraordinary person I ask myself only one question:
Has His life affected also my life?
Otherwise what am I doing here?