Based on: John 1:1-14
Dear Christian, when you go home this morning, celebrate Christmas! Celebrate by giving gifts because you know the gift God has given you. Celebrate by spending time with family knowing God has made you part of his family. Celebrate by eating good food remembering the marriage feast God has promised you. But as you celebrate may you never forget why you celebrate Christmas – that when Christ was born God showed his love for us.
When the Apostle John wrote the Gospel of John there were some who had forgotten what Christmas was about – specifically who the Christ of Christmas truly was – and so John wrote these words, "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." Each one of those words by itself is very simple to understand, but when we look at all these words together in the way that John arranged them, the concepts they communicate can be difficult to comprehend.
We see in these words truths that we may not fully understand even if we study them for the rest of our lives. Today, as we endeavor to understand these words a little better, let us consider the fact that God tells us about himself through the Word. This Word that John speaks of is the Son of God.
Right from the very beginning God has been telling us about himself. As he spoke during those six days of creation his Word created those things that we see all around us that tell us about the creator. Now when you experience a snowstorm in MN and the wind is blowing so hard that the snow moves sideways instead of gently coming down, then recognize that through nature God tells you about his power. When you look at your hand and you realize how God designed the human hand so that it can be do a number of useful things, then realize that God is revealing to you his great wisdom. And also when you go to the grocery store and you see the great variety of fruit, vegetables and other food that God gives you to eat, thank God that you don’t have to eat the same thing day after day and realize that he displays his love for the human race in the variety he has created. It is through the Word that God created all these things and tells you about himself.
Of course all of these things God created do not tell us how God deals with our sin. After Adam and Eve brought sin into the world there was something else God had to tell us about himself. God had to tell us that he is also our savior. Again he told us about himself through the Word. "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." Of course we know the Word John was talking about is the person of Jesus Christ.
It is through Jesus Christ that God reveals himself to us. It is through Jesus Christ that we find out just what God thinks of us and how much he loves us. And it is on Christmas that we celebrate and rejoice because God the Father sent Jesus Christ into the world. Jesus Christ, the Word, clearly communicates the love of the Father for human beings.
Before Christ came, God spoke to his people through the prophets and promised that he would send a Savior. Those promises are recorded for us in the Old Testament. But, as the writer to the Hebrews says, "in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word."
Now we have in the New Testament a record of the coming of Christ into the world. They tell us what Christ said and did. This doesn’t mean the New Testament is better than the Old. It means the New Testament shows the fulfillment of the Old Testament and what was only a shadow of Christ to come in the Old is now clearly visible in the New. And so Christ and the scriptures are not two separate revelations from God, but they are one and the same. All of Scripture both Old and New Testament reveal to us Christ, just as Christ reveals to us the love of God.
This revelation from God has a specific purpose. When God reveals himself to us, he doesn’t tell us everything we might be curious about. He doesn’t tell us everything there is to know about him so that we have a complete understanding of God. He knows we would not be capable of fully understanding him. No, when he reveals himself, he reveals himself in such a way that we are able to enjoy the blessings he gives us, and we are able to enjoy a relationship with him. In essence, he tells us everything we need to know for our salvation. So we can equate knowing God with salvation. Jesus himself says, "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."
Because God revealed himself to us and sent his son into the world, we have life and light. This is why we celebrate Christmas. To know God is to have life because God is the source of all life. To not know God, to ignore what he is told us about himself, is death.
In Christ’s birth God made himself known to us so that we could have life. The Word was born into this world to share with us that message of grace and truth. As John writes, “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.”