First of all, let me take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very happy new year. We live in a time where there is unrest around the world. Around the globe, the US President has been impeached; Britain has had its polls and faces Brexit; France is going through a lot of violence due to its pension policy; Hongkong has been under prolonged protest; Syria continues to be bombarded by cluster bombs; terrorist attacks continue in Afghanistan; Israel and Palestine continue the fight.
In our own country, Kashmir hasn’t returned to normalcy and many states are undergoing violent protests in reaction to the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens. Violence and rapes seem to be showing their ugly head frequently. Our economy is going through a downward slide. Under all these circumstances how can the birth of a child two thousand years ago make a difference?
John’s gospel gives us the answer as to how the birth of Jesus offers us hope under these circumstances. John reminds us that “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.”
John reminds us that Jesus was there right from the beginning with Father and the Holy Spirit and participated in the act of creation. Not only does he participate in the act of creation but he is the one who sustains it. Because Jesus is the creator, everyone is accountable to him, we all need to give account to him on the final day.
Jesus the living word of God, brings life and light. He is the one who offers human beings life abundant in his world, and life eternal in the world to come. The coming of Jesus in human flesh offers us new life to be a new creation where we can leave our sinful lives behind and celebrate this new life that he offers us.
Jesus is also the light of the world. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it/ understood it. In other words, we have not grasped what it means for Jesus to be the light. Jesus calls each one of us to move out from darkness into the light. We can hide our dark deeds from everyone but we cannot hide it from God. God calls us to repent of our sinful ways and walk into the light.
When Jesus came into this world as the light and life there were two types of responses. One was of rejection. Jesus came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. The Jewish people in whose midst he was born as a Jew did not receive him. They rejected him and eventually had him crucified. They rejected the light when it came into their midst.
There was also another type of response. These were the ones who received him and believed in his name. To these who believed in his name, he gave them the right to be the children of God. The choice is before us this morning either we accept him or reject him. Christmas is a fantastic opportunity to let the Christ child be truly born in us.
John culminates this section by stating “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” What are the implications as the word becoming flesh?
It affirms our humanity. We are made in the image of God and therefore whatever happens to us matters to God. Secondly, God became a human being through Jesus. He can identify all our sufferings, pain and trouble. Jesus himself went through the way to cross and therefore understands whatever we go through. Thirdly, we are reminded that Jesus is ‘Emmanuel, God with us.’
May we this Christmas celebrate the life that Jesus has come to offer. May God help us to move out of the darkness into the light. May we take courage that God is with us and he walks with us through all our difficult situations. Once again let me wish you all a very Merry Christmas. God bless you!
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