Christmas is over and now we are starting to put away the decorations and preparing for the new year. The celebration of Christmas can be wonderful but it can leave us with the wrong impression of who Jesus really is. He isn’t a baby in a feeding trough, in soft lighting, surrounded by Wise Men, shepherds, and friendly beasts. That might be the image we get at Christmas, but that image is cultural, not biblical. The birth of Jesus isn’t just a nice story to warm our hearts as we gather with friends and family, it’s the turning point in history and it changed everything. Today, let’s read a passage from John’s gospel as we consider the birth of Jesus Christ:
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’” From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us. (John 1:14-18 NLT)
I like how John’s opening words read: “the Word became human and made his home among us.” In another contemporary version called The Message, it reads something like this: The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. I like that too! But what does John mean when he says, “The Word.” In the New Testament, two different Greek words are translated as “word.” The first, rhema, means a spoken word. The other word, logos, is the word used in today’s passage and has a very different meaning. It implies a total message. In today’s passage, “the Word” (Logos) is referring to Jesus Himself. Jesus is the Logos, the total Message—He is everything that God wants to communicate to man. And what is His message? Go to church? Memorize Bible verses? Help poor people? Be nice to the mailman? No. Luke tells us that Jesus was “full of unfailing love and faithfulness.” Jesus, the Logos, is the full embodiment of God message. In Jesus, the eternal Logos became a Person and came to live in our neighborhood. The Kingdom of God has a name and a face: Jesus!
Though Christmas may be over, Jesus is alive and at work! Today, celebrate Jesus! He’s God’s Good News, the living message of faithfulness and love!