Today's Christmas Devotional is written by Rev. Kelly Staples.
Merry Christmas, everyone! Today we celebrate the changing of the world, the end of the darkness, and the new life promised to each of us. (And you thought this was just a birthday…)
John 1:1-5, 10-14
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.
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.
These words are found on the first page of John’s gospel, and they are very important. Each time I read them I am struck by the phrase, “and the world came into being through him." This might seem strange when we think of time as a linear progression. (There was the beginning of the world, then came Adam and Eve, then the fall from grace, and much later came Jesus and salvation.) But as we theological talking heads like to remind everyone, God’s time is not linear.
The first verses of John tell us that from the very beginning of time Jesus was a part of God’s plan for humanity. There was never a time without Jesus, only a time when we did not know him. This is a wondrous show of God’s love for us.
All things come into being from God. We know this. We teach it to our children. So it’s not such a stretch to think about the world coming into being through Jesus in this manner.
But on this Christmas day, which is the beginning of Christ’s human existence, we came into being again, in a brand new way. We celebrate incarnation, the humanity of Christ, the savior of the world, that God became one of us by choice.
Each time we celebrate this day and this blessed event, the promise of eternal life and love is reborn. It’s a continuous cycle. A perfect circle, like the advent wreath we light during worship. A new world is coming into being. A new way of God’s existence is coming into being. A new hope is coming into being. Today we acknowledge that "the world came into being through him."
What are you going to do with this new world?