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CHRISTMAS 2 – Rev Gloria Christian
Silent and Holy was the night. Come and worship the Word who is born anew each Christmas. Come let us join in joyful worship in this blessed Christmas time.
Holy God, we come together from homes and places, near and far, to worship you. We seek your presence in our lives as this year winds down with all its challenges; covid-19 illness and death, death from over-dosing on drugs, accidents, and on the list goes… You have given us life and you continue to give meaning to our lives. Be with us as we seek the comfort of your everlasting arms in this time of worship. Amidst the worry and stress of lock downs in our area, help us to slow our minds, that we might know the promise of peace you offer in this Holy Season of Christmas. We pray in the name of the Bethlehem Baby. Amen.
HYMN https://youtu.be/Wk4iy6cKLLg “Love Has Come”
SCRIPTURE John 1: 1-18
The Word Became Flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 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.
15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and[b] is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
MEDITATION: “Right Before Your Eyes”
Have you ever looked for something, turning everything inside out and upside down to find that one thing you seek to no avail? That one thing eludes your grasp and frantic search only to materialize when you stop your feverish hunt. You realize somewhat humbled that it was there all along, hidden in plain sight and completely accessible. I find this happens to me more than I like to admit. Usually, such frantic searches occur when I am in a hurry, have waited until the last possible minute, or have pushed aside a need, figuring that I have everything under control. You know, the one thing, is often keys, cell phone, or even glasses. Searching for something that is right before your eyes is frustrating and a waste of time.
The reading from the Gospel of John for this Sunday reminds me of searching for something that is right there all along. No nativity scene for John, no shepherd seeking the babe, no wise men searching the desert, for God incarnate! Looking and searching for God in all kinds of places when the Divine Presence is all around us all the time. I love the Christmas story but for John, the Word was in the beginning, the Word was with God, the Word was God. Life came into being and was the light of all people. This light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. I am particularly fond of the opening passage from John’s gospel because of its almost romantic unfolding of how God chooses to be in relationship with creation. The very images of ‘word’ and ‘light’ are filled with meaning that cannot be taken for granted.
Jesus, as Word and Light, has always been, however, it seems like we need more to believe. So, God took on physical form, flesh and bone, so that we could have a better chance of seeing what is hidden in plain sight all along. Through the life, witness, and saving grace of Jesus, we can experience and know the God we cannot see.
John tells us that even though Jesus came among God’s beloved people, not all of them accepted him. Not much has changed. He is truly hidden in plain sight, right before the eyes of the doubter. We see Jesus hidden in plain sight in the bread and the wine of the Sacrament. We hear Jesus in the word proclaimed when we gather for worship. We need those among us who, like John, can point to the light of Christ and help us see and experience the grace and mercy so freely given. Many doubters need to let go of their quest for black and white, easy-peasy, and cookie cutter answers that ultimately fail to satisfy and do not bring light to the darkness of the truth of God’s love for all creation. We need our beloved community and the relationships that come from connection within our community to help us see Jesus among us and in this world.
Yes, in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Creative, creating, redeeming, sustaining, and loving always and forever, drawing the world into eternal and right relationship. The Word made flesh seeks to turn our mourning into joy, to comfort us, to give us gladness instead of sorrow, to join us together in the dance of the cosmos. And now, dear friends, in this new year ahead, like John before us, we are called to point to this Jesus who is hidden in plain sight for all to see. Let us point the way for so many, so as to make this world right. Amen.
Every day of the week ahead is a Christmas Day, a day in which Christ is, and will be, a moment into which THE WORD has come; a moment which anticipates God’s Reign of Peace. Let us live, then, as Christmas people during the new year ahead of us. Let us be a people filled with God’s love, here and now; compassionate, loving, friends of Jesus. Let us also be a people with a light shining in the darkness so the darkness does not overcome.
Happy New Year, 2021 has come and God bless us all with hope and courage to begin a new year filled with promise and everlasting joy. Amen.