Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Gospel text for Sunday 29 December 2013

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      My neighbors really are a jolly lot. Many of their homes are framed with white lights, luminarios and bevys of baby sahuaros wearing Santa caps. (I do believe they dance when we are not looking.) I digress. There is one house that draws me in every time I pass by. There are no lights lining the walk or the house frame, no twinkling wreath, no snowmen. Not a single well dressed cactus. There is just the warm glow of a lighted Christmas tree inside the picture window. I must have passed by three or four times before I realized what about this simple scene attracted me.
Usually the wooden blinds on the windows facing the street are closed. When they are open it is impolite to look into a stranger’s living room. Except at Christmas. At Christmas the window into the heart of the house is open and we are invited to witness the fragile light of the life inside revealed by the Christmas tree. For what is a Christmas tree if it is not the revelation of the light at the center of our living rooms? at the center of our lives? at the center of our selves? What is a Christmas tree if it is not the revelation of our delight in the light, our satisfaction in the Word of God that is the essence of our being that has been since the beginning?

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Unlike Luke’s gospel that invites us to dig our toes into the dusty desert and witness the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, John invites us into the spiritual dimension ten thousand feet above the ground. In truth, John’s gospel does more than invite us to the heights of vision. John admonishes us to be and to become the living revelation of God’s light and life, right here, right now. 

As people of God we have the confidence and courage to open the picture windows of our hearts and allow the light of our Christ to shine through our lives and through our words. As people of God we embody the light and life and Word of God in our blood and in our bones, in every decision we make, in every action we take. It is up to us to be as warm and welcoming lights on the revelatory Christmas tree and shine God’s light in the dark places of our world. 

We, the people of God, are people of the Word, the Word that brings light into a world fraught with darkness. May the light of our Christ shine through all of our words to illume the value and dignity of every human being.  May the light of our Christ magnify God’s joy, express delight in all creation and make us generous stewards of all that God calls good. May the light of our Christ lift us out of the dramatic sagas of our little lives to the ten thousand feet above the ground always and everywhere perspective of the Word of God.  Merry Christmas.  

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