“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 1
Every birth is a stunning miracle.
At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Part of what makes the celebration special is that it is a reminder of the waiting for the birth and the joy of the birth of every child God creates. We give thanks for babies and their parents.
The Gospel of John reminds us that this birth in Bethlehem was something more. For those who have studied Greek, ancient Greek or Jewish philosophy or even done a Bible study on the opening of John, we know that the Gospel of John makes even more amazing truth claims than just announcing the miracle of a child. In the ancient world, the word “Logos” has many meanings. The one I think the author is speaking about is the notion that the Logos (or Word) is the divine logic, or reason inside of all of creation. The Logos (or Word) is the driving force and logic that parents discover in the wild and purposeful contractions that lead to the birth of a child. The driving ordering force behind and inside of all of creation shows up at Christmas in the birth of Jesus. Not as we might expect from such power, but in a stunning revelation that the creative, driving force inside of all that exists becomes flesh and lives among us.
Jesus, born in Bethlehem to Mary and Joseph, was both a fragile, complex, beautiful human baby. Jesus somehow also enfleshes the divine force, order and reason beneath creation. Jesus is fully human and divine, God’s child.
As we live in a time of unique vulnerability, weariness, frustrations, and fear, it is a time to remember that God has been and will be with us. In Christ, God gets what it is like to face life, trouble, suffering and death. More importantly we learn from this baby that God longs to bring healing, forgiveness, and God’s resurrecting love into each of your lives and God’s entire world. God works to repair and order our lives and calls us to become all God created us to be. God calls us to love and share as God’s recreating Logos works inside of, behind and out in front of history.
May God show up in ways you notice in this strange celebration of Christmas so that it might be one that you always remember. Our surprising, gracious, loving God is at work in ways we notice and in ways that are completely beyond our capacity to comprehend.
God works in ways we can understand like the wondrous birth of a baby.
Have a blessed Christmas.
Bishop Jon V. Anderson