Meet the Word

2020-12-27 – Year B – Christmas 1 – The Rev. Christopher M. Klukas
Isaiah 61:10-62:5; Psalm 147:12-20; John 1:1-18

  • Reading the instructions
    • This Christmas many of our children received craft or project kits as presents.
    • When you begin a project, it is tempting to look at the picture on the front of the box and then begin putting the pieces together.
    • When you do it this way, you almost always reach a point at which something is not working. At this point, after some frustration, you might resort to reading the instructions.
    • It might go more smoothly if you take time to read the instructions first.
    • A prologue in a book is kind of like this. It gives an overview.
    • This morning we get to dwell on one of the most beautiful passages of scripture: the prologue of the Gospel of John.
    • “The prologue helps us understand the significance of what takes place in the story and gives us clues as to what to watch for.”

Who is the Word?

  • John designed his Gospel to introduce people to Jesus and to help them “believe that [he] is the Christ, the Son of God” so that they can “have life in his name” (John 20:31).
  • To really know someone, you have to know their story. How do you introduce yourself to someone you have never met before? What do you say about yourself? What do you want to know about that new person?
    • Name? Where do you come from? Who are your people? What are your interests?
  • Name: the Word. To be clear, “the Word” is Jesus. “The Word” is a poetic and philosophical description of him.
    • “In some schools of Greek thought, the universe is kosmos, an ordered place, and what lies behind the universe and orders it is reason (logos). For the Jews, creation took place through God’s speech (Gen 1; Ps 33:6).”
  • “With God” answers the next two questions:
    • Where is he from? “With God”
    • Who are his people? “With God”
      • The word “With” “…is used to indicate personal relationship, not mere proximity…”
      • The next phrase explains this further. “The word was God”
      • This is a radical redefinition of the monotheism of the OT.
  • When? “In the beginning”
    • He has been since before time began, for all eternity. “Eternally begotten of the Father” (Nicene Creed)
  • What are his interests?
    • Creation – (v. 3) “all things were made through him…” this includes the entire world and even you yourself!
    • Bringing light into darkness (v. 4-5, 9)

Who are We?

  • “1. What is the human condition? Though created good and made for fellowship with our Creator, humanity has been cut off from God by self-centered rebellion against him, leading to lawless living, guilt, shame, death, and the fear of judgment. This is the state of sin.”
  • We see this darkness and rebellion in John’s prologue too. This is not just about who this “Word” is, it is about us too.
    • (vv. 10-11) the word was not welcomed!
  • But…! (v. 12-13). We who have walked in darkness can be transformed by receiving Jesus! We go from being cut off to being adopted as “children of God.”
    • I have had a number of friends adopt children over the years. One special way that some families choose to mark this transition is to give the child a new name to let them know that they are a new part of this family forever!
  • God promised to give us new names as well. It the OT lesson from Isaiah that we read today, we hear the voice of God’s annointed. This is Jesus, the Word speaking. Isaiah 62:1-2, 4
    • When God adopts you your name is no longer “forsaken” instead God see you and says “My delight is in her!”
  • If you have never received Jesus, if you have never welcomed him into your life, then I encourage you to not let another day go by without doing so. “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…” (Psalm 95:7-8).

The Word…Moved into the Neighborhood

  • The last piece of John’s prologue that I want to mention today is verse 14.
  • Instead of making this last point myself, I want to share Abp. Foley Beach’s Christmas message with you.
  • Play video.

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