John 1:1-18 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.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
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. (John testified to him and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.'") From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known.
Reflection This is the first Sunday in Christmas. Just a few days ago we received (yet again) the Word that enlightens all people. With the creating power of the Word born again in our hearts we cry Abba, Father, because we understand that we really are children of God and as children of God we embody God’s presence right here, right now, on earth.
We are not waiting for deferred salvation. Salvation is in the sanctuary of our transformed hearts and minds. And as we are changed, so is our world. Through us God is, right here, right now. As we allow our hearts and minds to be transformed we are compelled to action because we cannot contain God. Just as it is a property of light to shine and illumine the surfaces around it, so too is it a property of the Word God to be expressed and enlighten all people.
The Word God enters the world through us as we sing, give thanks and worship God. But the Word God does not stop there. The Word speaks through us to illume the value and dignity of all human beings because it is the Word that enlightens all people. Still, the Word God does not stop there. God’s joy and delight in all of creation is declared through us as we call for the care of creation, of all that God calls good.
As the Word God is born in us it transforms us and the world in three ways. The Word God inspires us to give praise and thanks to God. The Word God energizes us to dignify all of humanity. And finally the Word God compels us to care for our environment. With every choice we make we have the opportunity to embody the creating power of the Word that is God with us. With every decision that we make we can allow the Word that is God with us to call for the transformation of the world we live in.
The Word God enters the world through us to illumine a world full of broken hearts and crushed dreams. The Word God compells us to offer comfort, encouragement and support to a world full of disease and isolation, of fear, bitterness and marginalization. The Word God energizes us to speak into the darkness, to embody God’s delight in creation and to reveal the promise of new life to friends and neighbors and strangers who feel alienated from God.
The Word God is what makes Christianity unique. It is the promise that ordinary things like bread and wine and our little lives and this fragil earth - and words - that all things can be holy. This is our work, to speak the Word that enightens all people and makes all things holy.