Friday, December 25, 2009


"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life; and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

"There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning the light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.

"He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."
(John 1:1–14)

What a powerful passage. Jesus has always been with us because we were created through him, but he loved us so much that he chose to come down and literally live among us as a human so that we might know him more fully. I believe that all souls recognize Jesus in some way because we were made through him, but so often we choose to listen to what our minds have been taught instead of what our souls intuit. All of the people who met Jesus knew him at some level because they were made through him, but many of them did not listen to that tiny voice inside. They refused to be taken in by such childish beliefs, and they refused to recognize him. Yet everyone who listened to their soul, who began to realize who and what Jesus was, was given the ability to grow even closer to their creator. Those who were drawn to Jesus because they wanted to be closer to God were granted a place in God's own family.

John's passage illustrates a beautifully simple reality that we struggle to accept. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness does not understand it. Each of us has the darkness of sin staining us, and that darkness holds us back from understanding this amazing story of love, creation, and redemption. God made us through light, but we polluted ourselves with darkness. Still to any who seek the light is given the power to cast off all darkness and live fully in the light. This is an incredible opportunity for us if we can truly believe in the simplicity of the story.

We are ordinary mortals, but Jesus is the alpha and the omega. It's tempting for us to try to smash Jesus into our limited human perspective, to make him nothing more than a wise man who was blessed by God. That seems easier for us to accept than the idea that eternal God almighty would come and live among us so that we could have a better relationship with him and thereby be transformed into new creations. We think it's easier to make Jesus less than to imagine ourselves becoming more. But the beautiful thing here is that the truth is better than our imagination. The simplicity in John's story is more true than the logical loopholes we invent. Today we celebrate that God was born among us, and I pray that we might read these words from John and truly believe it.

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