Resurrection Lutheran Church of Dublin
7557 Amador Valley Blvd, Dublin, CA 94568 | firstname.lastname@example.org | 925.828.1580
A Word from Our Pastor
There is a Christmas Gospel that never gets read in a service on Christmas Eve. I suppose it is because there is no donkey, no manger and not even one wise man or shepherd. Stories, like the ones in Luke and Matthew, the Gospels that are read on Christmas Eve seem more personal and touch our emotions. The Gospel I am talking about, John, seems more like philosophy and for that reason more distant.
It begins with a riddle;
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
It starts this way not so much to confuse us but to try to state a truth that will not fit into words. That Jesus is not just another human being but the very source and ground of life as we know it. With God and yet still in truth God. God’s purpose is plain in these verses but the darkness is present as well, present but not overpowering. This is a word of hope, which lies at the very center of the meaning of Christmas. A candle in the night, water in the desert, and hope in a weary world, all of these are a part of the true meaning of Christmas. Even that is still too distant, too impersonal. The prophets have spoken all of these things in the Old Testament but the people still despair, the difficulty and harshness of human life still were overwhelming.
IF God is truly trying to speak a word of love and hope into the world it was going to take more than the prophets had to give. Truly it was God’s move. We cannot rise to the level of God but God can reach down and touch our lives. So John continues in this passage saying;
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth. And the Word became flesh… It staggers the mind when you think of it. God came to us, we were not able to reach God and so God came to us. The question that first comes to mind is why? It is a question that must be answered, because it tells us who we are, what our relationship is with God. Are we merely toys to be played with? There are many who think so, or are we somehow more than that? John does not leave this question hanging, he tells us; "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
So this is John’s Christmas story, we have a God who loves us so much that we were not left helplessly reaching out to a God who was forever beyond our reach. We have a God who not only reaches out to us but came in such a way that we could be absolutely sure that we were no just loved but understood. This was done by taking our humanity upon God’s self and being born as a child, not in luxury but in poverty so we could be sure that our God understood us even in the depth of suffering that inevitably come into our lives. This is truly the hope of the hopeless, for God is with us.
Not only is God with us but has given us the promise that we will never be left alone. We are not orphans but the very children of God. This is Christmas, hope, love and faith is a God who came to us when we were unable to reach into the heavens on our own. And this is the promise of Christmas that God’s Spirit will walk alongside us forever.
Yes it is a little odd for a Christmas story but it tells of a Christmas, the coming of God into our lives that reaches into our everyday lives and gives us God’s promise presence in our lives, in our children’s lives and in their children’s lives, forever.
Pastor Jim Bliss