And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a [parent’s] only son, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14
As Epiphany is now behind us and the Christmas season is over, it’s worth taking one more look at the beginning of John’s gospel before we leave it behind until this coming Advent.
If you recall, the opening of John is very cosmic, philosophical and poetic. It speaks about The Word and conjures up all manner of beautiful phrases to speak about the eternal nature of The Word and how humanity reacted to it when it came among us. It's very grand in its scope.
But then in verse 14 it gets very personal: that Word became like one of us, you and me. And not only that, we...you and I….have seen his glory. In 14 verses it goes from a grand, cosmic scope existing before Time itself right down to you and me. That’s a remarkable literary journey!
And yet, it reminds us of the amazing nature of God’s Spirit in the universe. It is, at once, beyond scope and imagination and at the same time as close as your thoughts. The entirety of the Cosmos became like you….for you. Let that little nugget sink in for a bit.
If you and I are worth that gift, we then bear a profound responsibility to be the very best of ourselves that we can. Yes, we’re human and we’ll make mistakes along the way. We’ll have really, really bad days. But, if we’re worth the freely given love of God, then we should show why in all we are and all we do as best we can, warts and all.
We all witnessed some of the worst of ourselves last Wednesday, and more video of the violence and anger of that day continues to come to light. It's difficult to watch us doing that to each other. Yet, this presents us with a moment in which we can show ourselves worthy of that which has been so freely given, rise above and learn from that day and remind each other why God loved us so much that God came to be with us in Emmanuel.
Grace and Truth were here for you and me, and we saw it. Now, let’s not forget it and do something about it.
Loving Creator, thank you for loving us as deeply as You do. Let us be so moved by that love that we seek to live it and freely share it with those that share this Garden with us.