Thursday, December 22, 2022

December 22, Thursday

Reader: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel.”

Response: “For he has visited and redeemed his people.”

Scripture: John 1:1-14

In the beginning the Word already existed.

    The Word was with God,

    and the Word was God.

He existed in the beginning with God.

God created everything through him,

    and nothing was created except through him.

The Word gave life to everything that was created,

    and his life brought light to everyone.

The light shines in the darkness,

    and the darkness can never extinguish it.

God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

Some thoughts:

In this prologue to the book of John, (many of whom believe that the first five verses were actually a hymn text of the early church), we see clearly that Jesus, the divine Logos, was the agent of creation. Everything in existence, seen and unseen, was created by and through him. He has never not existed . . . Stop a moment and spend some time trying to wrap your mind around that truth. Since he has always existed and he created everything that is in existence, the Word knows everything about everything! It  is a comfort to know that someone is puzzled by nothing. Because he knows everything, he can solve everything. Nothing is too hard or impossible. But life is not about solving problems. Eventually, because God is who he is, there will be no problems ever again!

In this passage, the material physical life and the spiritual life are melded together. Whereas people have often tried to separate these two into different realms, the Scripture unites them in God’s purpose for creation. Jesus breathes life into every creature. The physical life he gives also brings spiritual light, an inborn realization of the existence of God. (Rom 1:19-21) 

However, something happened to God’s perfect creation, a creation he called “very good.” Due to human rebellion against God (MAJOR problem!), the Son of God stepped out of eternity and entered planet Earth by taking on flesh and blood and lived in what is the country of modern day Israel. That sounds like fantasy, but it isn’t. The Father determined he would redeem this vast universe of creation through the redeeming gift of his Son. (Gen.3:15) So the eternal, creator Logos of “yesterday,” was born the human, earthly Jesus in the manger of Bethlehem. As he lives within us, we are living in the “today” part of Jesus, who returned to heaven and intercedes for us on our behalf. Experiencing the “forever” part of Jesus is yet to come. When we begin to flesh out Jesus as “the same yesterday, today, and forever” in the context of his existence prior to creation, his time on earth, and his eternal Kingdom, our minds begin to stretch in wonder at God’s great love and humility. We begin to get a glimpse of “the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” You may want to reread today’s passage reflecting on some of these thoughts.

Music:   “Behold the Lamb of God” from Messiah.  Gramophone Chorus of Ghana    

                                   DO NOT MISS THIS.


Holy and compassionate Father, out of your great love you brought forth the earth and world, indeed the entire vastness of the universe, all that is seen and unseen, all powers and forces and sounds and color and ideas. You invented thinking and reason and love. In our rebellion we turned away from you and severed a perfect communion. Our Savior, Jesus, your holy Son, stepped onto this planet and into this life to provide all of creation’s way back to you. Lord Jesus, how we thank and praise you for what is unimaginable for us to comprehend. When you returned to sit at the Father’s right hand, you sent the Holy Spirit to abide with us until you return. Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we praise you now and forever into the next world and throughout eternity when all is healed. Amen.                                     ―Daniel Sharp

Friday, December 23, 2022