“We Have Seen His Glory”
Christmas Eve – 24 December 2018
The Rev. Todd R. Goddard, Pastor
West Walworth: Zion & East Rochester United Methodist Churches
John 1:1-14 (http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=411719754)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
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.
Softly fell the snow;
White before an infinite darkness;
Floating from heaven to earth;
Our Creator’s gift to humankind.
This is John’s witness:
From heaven to earth
God came into being;
From nothingness to Word,
From Word to Life,
From Life to Light,
From Light to Flesh, and
From Flesh to Glory.
Down softly drifting
was Bethlehem’s quiet snow.
The Good News from the Gospel of John does not need to be
Overwhelming, thick, or complicated.
The Good News on this Christmas Eve night
simply begs the faithful to ask:
“What does it mean?”
What does it mean that God was the Word
From the beginning
And all things came into being through him?
What does it mean?
Word, or Logos (in the Greek)
Is the divine power behind the act of creation.
God created … the heavens and the earth.
All things came into being through God …
Without exception God created,
Life is the pinnacle of those things God created;
Life in the created order,
Life in the breath and heartbeat of the human breast,
Life in and through those whom God chose to speak and act,
Life in the birth of his son, the baby Jesus.
Where there is life
there is light
in an otherwise infinite darkness.
The world groans in labor to overcome the darkness
Of evil, injustice, and oppression,
That God may restore, heal, and redeem.
Into mortal finality
Is born the Immortal Infinite.
Our Creator continues to expand the frontiers of this world,
Opening the vast expanse of heaven
to everyone so enlightened
and so moved to whisper,
What does it mean that the Word became Flesh and lived among us?
Our creator tore through the divide between heaven and earth,
Ripping apart the blinds of darkness,
Lifting the curtains,
Letting in the light of God’s presence, power, and possibility.
The Savior is born to bring light to every nook and cranny of the darkness
That all might believe,
That all might be redeemed,
That all might be saved.
Born this day in the city of David
Is this Light:
The Light of the world.
The same glory that birthed a baby in Bethlehem’s manger
Lifted up the Savior in a whirlwind ascension
Revealing to us the glory of the Lord,
The relentless determination of our God,
The awe inspiring, overwhelming love of Christ’s grace and truth,
The unearned, undeserved, wondrous, mystifying nature of God’s redemption and salvation.
We have seen the glory of the Lord
In and through the life of Jesus.
We have seen the glory of Christ crucified,
God’s sacrifice for the sins of the world.
We have tasted the glory of Christ resurrected,
God’s determination to save the world once and for all.
Today we experience the glory of God
In and through the presence of God’s Holy Spirit.
On this Christmas
An angel promised,
Angelic hosts proclaimed,
And John witnessed the fulness of God’s glory.
We have seen God’s glory!
This Christmas may we experience God’s glory!
And may we look forward to seeing God’s glory come again!