Christmas Day, December 25, 2022
Text: John 1:1-14
Title: Let us Rejoice for the Word is among us
It’s no surprise to find God “in the beginning,” as we do in the first chapter of Genesis. After all, he’s uncreated, infinite, and eternal. He is without beginning and without end. If it were any other way, he wouldn’t be God, for something else would have had to create him. Everything else; that is everything except Jesus who is God Incarnate, whether it is visible or invisible, is part of his creation. We know this because in Genesis 1:1 we are told “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” He made everything out of nothing when he spoke all creation into being by his word. The Gospel of John also starts before creation with the words “in the beginning” but adds “was the Word” Prior to the creation, when there was nothing besides God, there was God’s Word as John tells us “The Word was with God” The Word and God are two distinct persons while being one God. Personal pronouns, such as “he” and “him” and “his,” must be used for the Word. He’s a divine person uncreated, infinite, and eternal. Through this Word, there in the beginning with God, “all things were made”. He was the agent by whom God spoke the entire creation into being. Light and life have their beginning and source in him, for the Word was there when everything seen and unseen came into being and it was very good. Zoom forward from “the beginning” to this moment, and what you find is far different. There’s spiritual darkness, thick darkness, and deep gloom over the whole world. The world in which we live doesn’t know God. Oh many would say different, but it is true, for they don’t know the Word that is Jesus, as God Incarnate. They are spiritually ignorant and blind, living in the darkness John talks about in his Gospel. With a single word “darkness” John describes creation’s fall, sin, death, and hell. The word “darkness” captures the confusion and misunderstanding and futility is in us and around us. For the “Darkness” John is talking about means that man can’t find God, no matter how many times he bumps into the stuff God made. He’s lost, as he lives in an upside-down world that he thinks is right-side up. Disoriented and alienated from God’s creation he constantly is inventing false gods and false worship to try and fill the emptiness he fills deep inside of himself. If the creation were to be redeemed, saved, and rescued from this darkness of sin and death, then God would have to make himself known to us. But how would he do this? God would come to the place where we are, descend to earth, enter his creation, so that we are living in the darkness lost and condemned creatures might know him and be brought back into the light. That my dear forgiven and restored brothers and sisters in Christ is the wondrous mystery of Christmas. God shows up in a place where we certainly don’t expect to find him, as John tells us, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” God the Word, who was there in the beginning and participated in the creation of all things, took on a human nature like yours. The one who was uncreated became created as one of us. The one who lives outside of time has willing become bound by time and place. The Word became flesh, Jesus Christ, true God and true man in one person. What a surprise. God’s human creation left on their own cannot find the creator, so the one who creates became human. The one who formed man from the dust has come in blood and flesh with hands and feet and eyes and mouth, as we are. He was born of a woman. Mary his mother wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger for a bed. Yet he was before Abraham, even before Adam, and yet he can be found in Bethlehem as a tiny babe. What a mystery. O come, let us adore him. The one who made the mountains and the tree that he was nailed to suffered and bled and died for his creation. The one in whom “we live and move and have our being” according to Acts 17:28 was once more wrapped, not in swaddling cloths, but in linen and laid in a tomb. He did not stay there but came bursting forth on the third day giving us assurance of our resurrection. O come, let us adore him. God Incarnate did not just come a long time ago and then leave us. He who made the wheat and the vine comes now in bread and wine to you. His true body and true blood are present on this altar. Eternal life, the light of the world, is so near that in just a few minutes you will touch him and taste him. For Jesus the Word who was in the beginning is now and forever incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ. That makes Christmas a blessed surprise. The uncreated, eternal, and infinite God comes right here among us as our light and our life. O come, let us adore him. Amen.