1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:1-14
The Word – Jesus – became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
Perhaps the best Christmas gift I ever got as a child was a Huffy Thunder Road BMX bike. I was in the 6th grade and I thought that was the coolest thing ever! About a month later it was stolen from the bike rack at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School. My brother, Rod, drove me around on his motorcycle (in the middle of winter) looking for that Huffy … and we never found it.
That’s how it goes with even best Christmas presents. Not to mention …
- Socks and underwear that eventually wear thin and wear out.
- Shirts and sweaters that never get worn.
- Gift cards that have that final $1.35 left on them.
- Maybe you have that relative that gives you the SAME THING every year – knowingly or unknowingly.
I imagine you could easily come up with your own list of winners and losers.
The Christmas season involves a lot of going. We go shopping. We go to Christmas parties. We go to the in-laws for dinner. We even go to church for Christmas Eve services.
But the Christmas story is not about going but coming. It’s about God coming from heaven to earth. We do not go to God – he comes to us.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning … 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world … 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. HE was coming. Jesus was coming. The only light that could brighten our darkness … was coming.
And 2,000 yrs ago, in a stable in the town of Bethlehem – the light arrived.
Eugene Peterson translates verse 14 this way … “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.” Jesus became the neighbor the Jewish leaders didn’t want and the one that every one of us needs. He became one of us. Not as a philosophy but as a person.
Christianity is not an ideology. It is not a political perspective. The Christian faith is based on one thing: Jesus.
For we believe that the baby born in Bethlehem was no ordinary child. The one who spoke in parables was more than a good story teller. He was incarnate – God in flesh. He was Emmanuel – God with us.
John Ortberg describes the impact of Jesus this way: “What would you need to accomplish to be remembered 2,000 years from now and to have millions celebrate your birthday?”
Not only is Jesus Emmanuel – God with us – he is also God with you.
- He is with you on the first day of kindergarten.
- He is with you when your kid graduates high school.
- He is with you when your heart swells and when it is broken.
- He is with you when you feel lost.
- He is with you when it’s hard to get out of bed.
- He is with you when you know it and when you don’t.
From his birth to his death, everything Jesus did he did for you. For as special as Christmas is, it’s not the end of the story but only the beginning.
The story leads us from Bethlehem to Calvary, from Christmas to Good Friday and then to Easter.