According to the Gospel of John

Christmas Day 2011

John 1:1-14

 

What do we celebrate?

 

Once upon a time, a long long time ago,

think back if you can to a time before ipads and ipods;

before CD’s and cassettes and even before vinyl;

okay – this is a stretch – before the telephone and automobiles,

are you still with me? we’re going back some more…

before the Reformation, before the Crusades,

before Moses, before Noah,

before the ice age and before dinosaurs

….okay let’s just say think back to the beginning.

 

In the beginning there was God.

And not much anything else.

And not much anyone else.

Well except of course Jesus, the Word which had not yet become flesh.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

 

Here’s where the gospel of John has us begin.

God and Jesus, Jesus and God abiding together.

In the beginning.

 

And through this God/Jesus, all things came into being.

In fact John asserts that there was not anything which came into being without him.

Not one single thing.

 

Mountains and trees?

The Appalachians and theHimalayas– all from him.

Blue spruce and red maple and juniper – all from him.

 

Birds and fish?

– all from him.

 

Men and women?

– all from him.

 

Mosquitoes and stink bugs?

From him.  (Thanks be to God!)

 

This God/Jesus not only brought light and life into the world.

This God/ Jesus became the light and life of the world.

 

But there’s no need for light unless there’s darkness,

and right from the beginning there was also darkness in the world.

Pain and suffering.

Evil and misery.

They were there too.

But no matter how dark the darkness became,  John the gospel writer tells us that

never – not one time – did darkness ever overcome the light.

 

It just didn’t happen.

There were many many opportunities for darkness to take over the world.

Right from Adam and Eve people made bad choices – terrible choices.

There were wars when God desired peace.

There was poverty when God provided enough for everyone.

There was hunger when God made food available.

 

Darkness loomed large over our world,

but the light was always stronger than the darkness.

God was always in control.

 

There was at least one human being who could see that.

(Maybe because he was a relative.)

That human was a man named John,

a man who spent his life seeking out God;

a man who spent his life telling people about God;

a man who spent his life begging people to turn away from the darkness and toward the light.

 

He knew that God/Jesus was coming into the world.

He told people that God/Jesus was the true light who can bring hope to everyone’s darkness–

rich and poor, men and women, city and rural, third world and first world.

 

Having family trouble?

God/Jesus can bring hope to it.

 

Addicted?

God/Jesus can bring hope to it.

 

Worried about finances?

God/Jesus can bring hope to it.

 

But the odd thing to John the gospel writer as well as to John the prophet,

was that people didn’t get it.

 

God came into the very world he created,

(remember?  everything came into being through him?)

and the world did not accept him.

 

That fact was made even more tragic by the fact that

the reason it mattered, the reason he wanted people to accept him,

wasn’t that he wanted to take anything from them,

but rather  that he wanted to give something to them.

 

He wanted them to know that God loved them as a parent loves a child.

He bothered to come into the world out of love for the world,

so that the world could get a close-up of the God who created them.

 

Did you know that you were born not because your parents decided to have a baby and that’s that…

You were born because God wanted you to be born.

God wanted you!

 

And so God came into the world,

God moved into the neighborhood,

God pitched a tent among us,

 

The Word became flesh and lived among us.

 

And we have seen him.

We have seen his love.

We have seen his truth.

 

That is what we celebrate.

Merry Christmas.

 

Amen

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