Christmas 2
January 2, 2000
What’s The Good Word For Today?

Introduction: Well, we made it! We’ve here, on the second day of Y2K! We’ve survived all of the anticipated hype and we’re beginning to settle into our new retinues of a New Year. Students go back to school, adults go back to work, and life moves on…or will it?

If you look at the Church calendar we are still in the Christmas season, and in a sense it is a time for us to ponder and reflect on what this season means so many of us.

Christmas is more than tinsel and gifts, mangers and angels, shepherds and inns. At Christmas we have a small instant of time and an event that took place in an obscure village. We will not appreciate its importance or the significance unless we see it in an eternal and divine perspective.

In his prologue John places the Incarnation into the total picture of God’s eternal plan of redemption. The Word, John reminds us, is God in His pre-Jesus existence and His coming to this world in the form of His Son Jesus makes God the Father as a knowable and redemptive person. This morning John invites us to look at the word that haw come into the world. What sort of Word is John speaking of here?

{1} It is a divine Word. John tells us "In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word WAS God. (V.1)

Before Jesus came on earth, how would you identify Him? What name would you give Him? It could not be "Jesus" for Jesus was God in human form on this earth. Word in itself indicates a message or a communication. God wanted to communicate to the world His grace and truth.

That message – The Word – came in a person. God communicated by means of a real person, for people best get the message in people. What we see is that this eternal Word contains the person. Thus you and I can say that the Word of God brings to us life, light, truth and grace for Jesus, as the eternal Word is the very nature of God. Jesus was not "a god" as the Jehovah’s Witnesses would tell us but He is "God"

{2} It is also an eternal Word. John reminds us that "He was with God in the beginning" (v.2)

The basic fact of John’s gospel is that the Word took on flesh for the ultimate purpose if reconciling us to God. God became what we are – He became human – in order that we might become what Christ is – Sons of God. Through Christ’s incarnation and redemption we can become like Him in our relationship with God. This would not work unless Jesus – the Word – had His hand in the equation. He is the eternal God who has come into time and space to redeem a lost and fallen world. Salvation is now possible because the eternal Son of God has come to visit His people.

{3} But this Word is a personal Word. John reminds us "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us full of grace and truth…" (v.14)

This external, divine Word who is God is enfleshed in Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus is the incarnate Word. The word came in the human body of Jesus. This reminds us that Jesus was truly and fully a human being. The Word took on a face in which we see the countenance of God. In the words of the Incarnate Word, we received the whole truth of God. This is the miracle, the mystery, and the marvel of Christmas!

{4} This Word is also a fruitful Word. John reminds us that "…Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God…from the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another" (vv.12, 16)

People are not the children of God by virtue of being human. Only believers in the Word receive power to become the sons of God. The children of God do not result from ancestry or physical desire but only from the will of God. This calls for a second birth, a spiritual birth of the Spirit of God. When you and I were baptized we were united with this Word. In and through our baptism we have now become the every children of God.

Conclusion: The Word has taken on flesh! By the miracle of Christmas we now become connected with God and are granted the privilege of becoming the very children of God. This is what it means to believe in and to worship the Word made flesh. In this baby, born in Bethlehem is the God of our salvation. Worship Him. Hail Him as the eternal God who has come to take on flesh and visit His people.