Bethel CRC Lacombe

December 24, 2023 PM Lessons & Carols , Christmas Eve Candle-light Service.

December 27, 2023 Pastor Jake Boer Season 8 Episode 5
Bethel CRC Lacombe
December 24, 2023 PM Lessons & Carols , Christmas Eve Candle-light Service.
Show Notes Transcript

Lessons and Carols will be held this evening at 6:30 p.m. (so young families can feel free to come as well.) We will have a brief homily on John 1:1-14 and how Jesus came to live among us.

The Word Became Flesh

John 1:1-14


John takes us on a journey at the beginning of his story of who Jesus is and why he came to earth as a human being. He reminds us that Jesus was right there in the beginning of creation, even though he doesn’t use Jesus’ name until later in the chapter. Jesus wasn’t only there at the beginning of creation; everything was made through Jesus. It’s no wonder Jesus cares so much for us, we’re his most special creation, made in his image, made to carry on the work he began, which John later on reminds us of again. I love how John emphasizes light and life and how they’re intertwined with who Jesus is and how he created everything. What a great way to start telling the story of who Jesus is and why he came.

John is sent to get the people ready for the coming of Jesus. God’s goal was for his people to recognize who Jesus is when he finally appears in public to begin his work of bringing the people to God, to be their Messiah, to give them a deeper and richer relationship with God through him, and as we learn a little later, to be the lamb who will take away the sin of the world. John uses the image of light shining in the darkness, a light to guide us to the Father, a light to give hope, a light to chase the darkness away. John goes on to tell us that the true gives light to everyone. Jesus comes for everyone, but also for all creation, the creation the was made through him; Jesus comes to bring new life, to bring renewal for all creation as sin has impacted everyone and everything. The psalmist describes it as creation groaning and waiting. 

Jesus comes, this is what we’re celebrating this evening and tomorrow in our worship. The strangest thing is that even though Israel has been waiting for thousands of years for their Messiah to come, so many of them don’t recognize Jesus when he comes, “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.” Yet there are those who do recognize Jesus; the shepherds the night Jesus is born come to worship him and the Magi from the east also come to worship him, and John offers them this hope, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” Gentiles and lowly shepherds are some of the first people given the right to become children of God, definitely not what Israel expected! 

In verse 14, John comes to the heart of what happened the first Christmas, “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.” John uses the image of the tabernacle here, saying, “The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us.” The tabernacle symbolized the presence of God among his people during the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness after being freed from Egypt. The tabernacle was a temporary place for a temporary time as they were looking ahead to the Promised Land. Jesus’ time here was also for only a temporary time as he was establishing the foundation for the kingdom of heaven’s appearance and this is why advent also looks ahead to Jesus’ return when the kingdom of heaven will be full established and the Word who created all things will restore and renew all things and defeat Satan once and for all, bringing peace and flourishing to all creation! 

Can you imagine what that’s going to be like when Jesus comes in all his glory, bringing light and hope. This is why we light candles this evening to symbolize the light of the world coming again, full of grace and truth! May the Lord bless you all this Christmas!