John 1:1-14

The Word Works

Christmas Day

December 25, 2014

Words mean things. This we all know. On Christmas most of us say some variation of “Merry Christmas” or “Blessed Christmas.”  Words have meaning, and this morning as we hear the nativity story according to St. John, we not just words, but we hear “the Word.” The Word was with God and the Word was God.”  This is the creative word, this is the redemptive Word, this is the Word that delivers what it says. This is the Word that we focus upon this morning.

The Word creates.  “All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.” The Word of God was present at the beginning of creation, and through the Word creation was spoken into existence.  After creation, God continued to use His Word, speaking to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, walking with them in the light of day. Shortly thereafter, the world fell into darkness because of Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden.  But the Word would not be silenced.  

So the Word incarnates. Jesus entered our world of darkness literally by becoming one of us. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” He was born in a cold stable that he might warm us with the light of His presence.  This is the main focus of Christmas, the main reason why we are here today.  The Word was not content to stay up in heaven, but came down to become one of us.  The Word became flesh, and He is one of us in every way. God uses human words! At many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son (Hebrews 1:1). That same Word which spoke and creation was, that same Word that cried out from the manger, is the same that cried out from the cross, “It is finished.”  Christmas means nothing without Easter.

In fact, this connection is probably why we celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25. There was an ancient view that a person died on the same day that he was conceived.  Thinking that Jesus died on Friday, March 25, and marking that as the day that He was conceived, his birth 9 months later would be celebrated on December 25.  During the darkest part of the year, we celebrate the Light of the World.

The Word brings light to the darkness.  “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” The Christmas miracle is not just that the Word became flesh, but that this enfleshed Word loves the world to the point of dying for it.  But death cannot silence the Word. The Light of the World is not snuffed out by the darkness of death.  The darkness of your sin, the darkness of those deep secrets and horrible thoughts, the darkness of depression, anxiety, and failure cannot overcome the glory of the Light of the World.  Because His light shines through eternity, so too all who receive Him, who believe in His name, share in His bright and brilliant life and will call us out of the grave to live with Him forever.

The Word delivers. “And from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” All that Jesus did and said does us no good unless it all is delivered to us. We can’t travel back in time. We don’t have to, because God delivers to us what He wants us to know about Jesus’ life, works, suffering, death, and resurrection in the words of Holy Scripture. The Spirit takes their words in the Scriptures and creates faith where and when He pleases in those who hear this Good News.  Our faith is founded on God’s Word. The Word that became flesh has written everything down so that we would know and believe in Him.  The Word that opens our mouths so that our lips may declare His praise. The Word combined with the water makes us children of God, born not of the will of flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. The Word combined with the bread and wine offers by the bodily eating and drinking forgiveness, life and salvation are delivered to you personally.

Through these means of grace, the Word delivers the promises of God, His grace upon grace. And specifically, what the Word delivers to you today is a blessed Christmas.  A Christmas that is rich in God’s blessings. A Christmas wherein once again, the Word forgiving your sins, the Word bespeaking you righteous, the Word’s body and blood placed in your mouth. And where the Word is never silenced.  On this joyous day, we celebrate the Word become flesh, who dwelt with us, who speaks to us, whose Light shines throughout the world and who delivers Himself to us. The peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds on the Word become flesh, Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.