“From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another” (John 1:16)
Let us use our imagination, shall we? This is the challenge: What would Christmas look like – without the Gospel stories about Jesus’ birth? No visiting angels; no heavenly host; no star… Without the well-known ‘nativity scene’? Without the Christmas tree? Without the Christmas gifts? Without the family celebrations?
A Christmas without all of the above would be like the one described in the Gospel of John. How does John describe Christmas?
-the beginning; the Word; the life; the light.
-the Word – with God: God came to be with us.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1 :14)
So how does John, the apostle, describe Christmas (John 1:1-16)?
Let us call it ‘John’s Christmas’. John’s Christmas:
-reveals it’s eternal origins (see also 2 Tim 1:9)
-mentions the basic elements that sustain us: life; light; grace.
-reveals God’s love (its sacrificial nature): the Word became flesh.
-presents to us the hope that it brings: to become children of God.
-assures us of God’s ongoing involvement in our lives: grace upon grace.
There are times when the stories for the eyes and heart are missing or have missing pages. Then we need stories to talk to our minds and and faith… to help keep us going. John’s Christmas story is such a story. Believe.
The popular belief is that Christmas is about gifts, family, food, celebrations. That is what is being done lately. But, Christmas is about God with us! And God with us means grace upon grace. Heaps of grace!
May God grant you a blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year.