“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. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” “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.” (John 1:1-5, 14 NIV)
These few words speak forth the great revelation of Father’s heart. That the One who caused all things to ‘BE’ and holds all things together by the Word of his Power, would come to his creation and make himself known in a tangible, physical way. He would step onto this earth he created that we would behold his glory.
And, in this glory we would see–grace and truth.
It is Christmas morning, December 25, 2011. For many it is just a ‘special holiday’, a date on the calendar, a time for giving and getting gifts, visiting family and friends. But, the celebration is much more than all that.
I don’t believe we need yet another sermon on Christmas; but, let me share just a couple thoughts.
Most of us are aware of the effort in our nation to eliminate “Merry Christmas” from the language replacing it with “Happy Holiday”. It is simply the continuation of the ancient attempt by the Serpent to try to stamp out anything to do with Redemption. What I mean is that he knows that the coming of Word to this world was for one purpose-to redeem all mankind, to bring every human being back to their first place in God..or as a friend of mine puts it: “Refreshed to our original state” before the fall. He failed in his attempts all the way to and through the cross.
So, now he simply wants to hide God’s purpose in Christ from us through the trappings, wrappings, language of a yearly ‘holiday’. But, here’s the thing. Christmas isn’t about a date on a calendar, or a time of year. It is a LIVING REALITY of the Word becoming flesh and revealing the Glory of God.
Here’s a couple ways to reveal that Glory day by day.
John writes that we have ‘seen his glory’–how is that Glory revealed? Two words: Grace and Truth. Grace is a powerful ‘substance’ of heaven. It is literally the power of God over Law. It is the flow of God’s redeeming Love into every area of life. It is the very atmosphere of heaven, and in GRACE we stand. Put another way: I am a blood redeemed believer filled with the Spirit of God. I simply AM because of what the Great I AM has done and continues to do.
This means I no longer have to strive to get something I already have. I don’t have to chase after God, or work myself to death trying to attain acceptance. I already AM. So, I guess I am saying, I reveal the Glory of the God by letting go of all religious striving and embracing who I am in Christ and who he is in me. All pressure is removed to ‘perform’, and nothing the Serpent can do can prevent Glory from pouring forth in my life.
‘Truth’ is the second word. The Word IS Truth. This passage in John is not speaking about the Bible. Not speaking of the ‘written word’; but, he is speaking of the LIVING WORD. Word is a person who speaks. Put another way: Word is the VOICE OF GOD. Put yet another way: Word is the SOUND OF HEAVEN.
Religion would want me to only see the Word as the ancient text of scripture..words on a page. Now, I do believe the Bible is God’s Word-period. But, God has never gone mute. God ‘speaks’. Through redemption, Christ has taken up residence within me by his Spirit. I now have the ability to ‘hear’ God’s voice. Therefore, when I embrace first who I am in Christ and who he is in me; and then, open my ears to listen to his voice..I find myself being led moment by moment by Holy Spirit in harmony with the written Word. I find myself not being dictated to by my circumstances; but, facing my circumstances from a place of victory and power. This the Serpent hates, for he has no voice in my life, no control over my destiny, over my life.
Christmas is LIFE. I live Christmas moment by moment. For I believe in the Word who became flesh. I ‘see’ his Glory in every moment of my life filled with his grace and truth.