Isaiah 52:7-10 Hebrews 1:1-6 Gospel: John 1:1-18
Ding dong merrily on high,
In heaven the bells are ringing:
Ding dong! verily the sky
Is riv’n with angel singing
Gloria Hosanna in excelsis!
Gloria Hosanna in excelsis!
The heaven rejoices the Angels are singing, the earth is filled with gladness. A great thing has happened, a great mystery, quite inexplicable that the Eternal Word became flesh.
He is God, light from light, but now in human form. This is the news that the devil does not want to hear. God has become man for man. God has become man to redeem man. In essence, God has become man to save man.
This is the story of the salvation of the human race. It is a thing of joy and a mystery to the human mind that God came down from heaven to become man for the sake of man.
This is an extraordinary act of love. It means that the love of God is now with us, the grace of God has surrounded us like never before, the mercy of God is now within, the blessings of God is with us, the light of God is all around us and the glory of God has come to dwell with us. God has become man for the love He has for man. The gospel of today captures His identity.
Christmas is a celebration of God’s love for us. Despite that we are sinners, God sends His beloved son to save us from sin.
The Prologue Explains His Identity.
The Prologue to John’s Gospel is John’s birth story of Jesus. John hit the nail on the head.
The first eighteen verses of John’s gospel introduce Jesus and fully explains His identity.
According to the prologue, Jesus is, in the beginning, a co-creator with the Father. He is light. He is full of glory, full of grace and truth. John’s introductory prologue also explained Christmas to its apex.
The “Word became flesh” is what we are celebrating today, the earth is rejoicing because God has come to live with us.
“The Word became flesh” simply indicates that Jesus is not a mirage or an illusion. It indicates that Jesus was not a hologram or a ghost disguised as a person. Therefore, Jesus is a real, living, breathing person. He has a history. The news about him is not an imagination.
He Dwells Among Us.
The reason we are rejoicing, the reason we are happy is that God is now with us.
The Greek word used here for dwell is skenoo. This word is used to describe the tabernacle of the Old Testament.
The tabernacle was a temporary structure, symbolic of God’s “dwelling” with His people.
The presence of the tabernacle indicates the presence of God in the Old Testament.
Therefore, Jesus is with us and among us now, in human form, much as God was among His people in the tabernacle.
John’s prologue indicates that the “Word” which became flesh is God. Like the tabernacle of the Old Testament, God is now is in our midst. That’s the joy that greeted the earth today.
God chooses the Least to make Us The Best.
Let us imagine this. You heard a lot about your brother and son who is living somewhere and doing well.
One day He announces the good news that he is coming home. Imagine your expectations, very big, you imagine someone who will come home with the best of cars, classy wears. Yet on his arrival, he came home in rags, no beautiful ride. Imagine the disappointment.
This is the reason the Jews are confused till today. Instead of coming from the sky with mighty angels, God chooses to be born in the form of a baby.
He chooses not to come like a mighty man or a powerful king. He chooses to come in the form of a baby so that we can have easy access to Him.
A king may not be approached easily by everyone but a baby can even be touched by anyone.
Jesus did this so that all can come to Him easily. Instead of being born in a hospital, he chooses a manger, where no bill can be paid for Him because He came to pay our bills.
Therefore, He chooses to be ordinary, born in the family of a carpenter to make us extraordinary and to be born among God’s children. Jesus chooses the least to give us the best.
Jesus Comes to create Us A New.
In the gospel, the threefold claim, “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” reveals the origin of Jesus, his relationship with God, and his identity as God.
This shows that Jesus’ origin is not today. He is eternal with God. He is a co-creator. In Him, all things were made.
The implication then is that God has come to create us a new. He will change our situation. He will make us new again. Everything that comes into being, came through him. His presence will saturate us with more new things to come.
Light Now Shines in the Darkness.
In referring to Jesus in the gospel, John says that the Word made flesh is a light that shines in the darkness, which no darkness can overcome. This evokes the creation story.
In the beginning, when the earth was in total darkness, without form and void, the first thing that God created was light. Darkness is not a thing because it was not created.
This implies that darkness exists because the light was not present. Therefore, Darkness is simply the absence of light.
In essence, the presence of light dispels darkness. Thus, John presents Jesus as a Light. His coming implies that darkness has no power anymore.
Man has been living in darkness. Hence, the birth of Jesus signifies an end to the rule of darkness.
Darkness can never show its presence, once the light is present. Light gives joy. The birth of Jesus is the end of darkness. Therefore, Men who still live in darkness are those who have not accepted the light.
For darkness is the absence of light. Therefore, the presence of Jesus is the end to darkness that rules in our lives.
Therefore, the only way to put an end to the rule of darkness is to invite Jesus into our lives.
God has become man for man to be free from the darkness of sin. Therefore, Jesus comes to set us free from the darkness of sin.
Darkness also can be seen as suffering, pains, sorrow etc.
Let us remember that darkness is not a thing. You can only feel its presence once the light is absent. All the things we pass through in life are not things in themselves unless the Light is not with you. Jesus turns them into messages, He turns our sorrows into joy.
Therefore, Jesus carries our burdens. He comes to become one with us in our tribulations with an invitation “Come to me all you that are overburdened”. He makes us understand the meaning of suffering.
Therefore, Jesus is always interested in our case but if only we can give Him the chance to take the lead.
In essence, God has become man for man to save man from the darkness of sin. He has come to be our Shepherd.
Hence, if we make Jesus our shepherd, we shall not fear, even if we walk through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23). He comes to give us an enormous peace even in great affliction.
Anyone who goes to the Light is sure to reflect the Light. We can only shine if the Light is shining on us.
Christmas are for Witnesses.
In the gospel, the introduction of John the baptist in the prologue as a witness is a rather strange interlude in this birth story. What is John doing here anyway?
Commentators explain that John’s presence as a later interpolation does not belong in such a majestic narration of Jesus’ origins and identity. Yet the presence of John here suggests a critical response that Christmas is for witness of the gospel.
Therefore, Christmas is not over when the trees are put out. Christmas is just getting started for those who confess, accept and invite Jesus into their lives. Those whose lives are to reflect the image of the Light.
So, Christmas aims to make us also living witnesses of the gospel.
Therefore in this season, we are to be messengers of peace and not wickedness, reconciliation and not division, love and not hatred, help to the poor and not intimidating them, messengers of joy and not sorrows etc.
Christmas is Grace upon Grace.
The celebration of the Word made Flesh is what we are doing today. And John says that the Word made flesh is full of grace (John 1:14).
Fullness has the sense of the “total,” “complete,” and can also connote “superabundance.” So, Once the Word becomes flesh, grace abounds and is easily accessible to all.
Therefore, the Graces of God abound today. We need to allow the Word to take flesh in us.
Therefore, His presence will totally transform us. His grace abounds for whoever sincerely and wholeheartedly approaches Him.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. ( Heb 4:16).
1. Today, as we celebrate Christmas, we have to ask ourselves if the Word has truly taken flesh in us. Have we truly accepted Him?
When the Word takes flesh, there will be joy, peace, love, mercy, repentance, reconciliation etc. Are you still in enmity going into the new year? Is your family still in crisis?
When the Word takes flesh in us, we become instruments of salvation and not division.
When the Word takes flesh, we become instruments of touching souls and not misleading them.
Therefore, God has become man for man to change. So, the Christmas has to be a turning point in our lives.
2. One truth about a word is that once it is spoken. It may or may not be heard depending on the distance between the one who speaks.
Word also is a means of communication for information or action. Christmas implies that God now speaks to us directly. Those who hear Him are those who come close.
The dwelling of God means He is here with us. In essence, God needs our relationship, He wants us to be close to Him.
To listen to Him and put them in practice cannot but change our lives.
It is a deeply intimate, personal and close relationship with God.
The Good News today is that Emmanuel is here with us. The news is that God has become for man, that a whole God is now with us.
Therefore, like the three wise men, we have to search for Him. Proverbs 8:17 says, when we seek Him, we must surely find Him.
3. The verb “Is” indicates something that truly is. “Is” indicates that someone or something exists.
God is with us is an indication that now God is living with us. The implication is that joy, mercy, grace, power, favours, and heaven is the inheritance of all who accept Him.
The gospel says that “to those who accept Him, He has given the power to become children of God (John 1:12). Therefore, the presence of God is not far. He is one with us.
4. “God with us” connotes intimacy and relationship. He is inviting us to relate with Him now mostly as our companion.
This is mostly even for our sake. But a man only rejoices, dances that He has come but pushes this invitation away.
The joy of Christmas must resonate in our spiritual relationship with God.
“With” connotes accompaniment. The mystery here today is that man and God can now relate.
So, the implication is that God is now with us, and one with God is the majority. The problem is that we do not believe in Him. We are the ones that have abandoned and rejected Him.
We are the ones that reject his commands and directions, things then become difficult for us.
So, the good news is that Salvation is now near for all sinners, and grace abounds for all. But, we are busy somewhere.
5. This is not a season for atrocities, increment in prices of goods and wealth tussle.
This is a time of grace, a season of joy, and a time to come close to Jesus again. Today, is not a day for sadness. Be happy God is now involved in your case.
He needs this relationship. He does not want any of the souls to be lost (Matthew 18:14). This is love made practical. He wants to save. He wants to break that bondage.
God wants to carry our burden. Let us not look for Him far. He is near. Just invite Him. This is real, this is true, and this is a fact.
Have you heard the latest!!? *
God has become Man for man!! What a Mystery!!
Rejoice, I say again rejoice!!!!
May God bless you dearest and May His grace abound in your life from this moment. Amen