Today’s reading introduces a discussion about the relationship between God and Jesus and describes how God and Jesus are united as the Word from the beginning. The Word is with God and is God. The Word speaks, and all things—light and life—come into being. (See Genesis 1.) John testifies that Jesus is the Word made flesh once again as the true light. Jesus is cocreator with God in the beginning of the world and is the true light who enters the world as Emmanuel.
The first few verses of this Gospel drive us to a deeper understanding of God’s willingness to relinquish sovereignty, to empty God’s self to take on the struggles of human existence, and to testify as the true light to God’s all-encompassing love for humanity and all of creation. (See Philippians 2:1-11.) God as Jesus enters the world as a human baby and dies as a criminal. In between, he grows up, attends worship and weddings, struggles with his call on earth, teaches lessons, suffers hunger and homelessness, heals people, breaks laws, and invites himself to dinner with despised people.
Jesus’ taking human form means that God, as Jesus, knows us in our greatest weakness, pain, and sin. Nothing about us has been or ever will be hidden from God. And Jesus, as the true light that enlightens everyone—even you and me, provides the means for us to discover the grace of God.
O God, I give up trying to hide myself from you. Help me draw closer to you through Jesus, so that I may know your grace and love forevermore. Amen.
Jeremiah delivers happy news, a promise from the Lord of a brighter future day. God will bring back the scattered peoples to their homeland, and their mourning will turn into joy. The psalmist encourages those in Jerusalem to praise God for all that God has done. God gives protection, peace, and the law to the children of Israel. The author of Ephesians encourages readers with confidence in God’s eternal plan. God’s will is to send Christ and adopt us into God’s family. We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit. The opening to John helps us understand the eternal scope of God’s plan. From the beginning, the Word has been with God but then becomes flesh and lives among us to reveal divine glory.
Read Jeremiah 31:7-14. How do you continue to celebrate God’s goodness, even if the Christmas season has been difficult for you?
Read Psalm 147:12-20. What is your doxology—your command and faith claim—today?
Read Ephesians 1:3-14. Consider the author’s question, Who makes up your family? Do you define your family by looking back to your heritage or looking forward to your legacy and future generations’ inheritance?
Read John 1:1-18. What does it mean for you that Jesus is cocreator in the beginning and takes on human life and suffering as Emmanuel?
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