Resurrection Lutheran Church of Dublin
7557 Amador Valley Blvd, Dublin, CA 94568 | firstname.lastname@example.org | 925.828.1580
A Word from Our Pastor...
When we think of Christmas we think of the Baby Jesus in a manger and Mary on her donkey and Joseph trudging on their way to Bethlehem. We have visions of angels and shepherds with the baby all snug in his bed while wise men hurry across the desert trying to arrive on time. This is all precious and familiar but it makes me wonder what God thinks when Christmas comes to mind. From our point of view we have the Gospels of Luke and Matthew. Each telling the story of Jesus’ birth in their own way but from God’s point of view we have only the beginning of the Gospel of John and it is difficult to think of it as a Christmas story at all.
It begins in a very confusing, even illogical way. 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. John 1:1-5 How can the word be with God and be God, the logic escapes me and the rest of it sounds more like creation than Christmas. The only thing that kind of makes sense is the part about life and light. Maybe we should start there. From God’s perspective Christmas is about the light breaking into the darkness, good triumphing over evil. Christmas is God’s promise that this is true and will most certainly happen. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. It is with this promise that the rest of this passage begins to come into focus. It is not a single event in time but an integral part of God’s intent in creation itself from the very beginning. It is about life itself and as John says; the life was the light of all people. The confusing beginning of this passage connects the Word inextricably to God in a way that is beyond my logic to untangle so I let it float in my mind as a truth I have not yet fully comprehended and accepted it.
So I said this was about Christmas didn’t I, so I better get to the point. In a few short lines John says; 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. John 1:14 Now we know that the Word is Jesus, God’s only Son but we also know that somehow Jesus was with God at the beginning and was not only with God but was God. And Mary gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:7 and the very different stories come together even as the prophets had foretold it.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and call his name him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 Immanuel, which means God with us, so spoke the prophet Isaiah 700 years before the birth of Christ. This is the incarnation a word taken from the Latin which means to take on flesh or in this case God being born as a human being, one of us.
This is a little of God’s perspective but we are left with the question why. Why did God come that first Christmas morn? The answer to this is also in John. 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. 17 "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. John 3:16-17 It is about life, Life that is the light of all people, God with us.
Merry Christmas, please join us Christmas Eve as we "Worship Christ the new Born King!"
Pastor Jim Bliss