“Seek the Light”

Dec 25, 2022

The Scripture

John 1:1-14

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 overtake it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

14 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.


The Sermon

Merry Christmas dear friends! What a special day this is that we can gather together to worship on this morning on Christmas Day! Christmas is not about the gifts we receive, though they are very nice, Christmas is not about the decorations even though they are so beautiful, it’s not about the food either, oh but those meals are so delicious, it’s not even about our family seated around our table, though community with one another is such a blessing…Christmas is about remembering and celebrating the reality that God dwells with us. Yes, we relive the story of Jesus’ birth at Christmas, but Jesus is no longer a baby…we must move from remembering Jesus as a baby to Jesus who is in and with God and reigns in our lives. Our story now is that God is here and now intimately intertwined into our lives. John the writer of this gospel, so named, knew of this reign of Jesus in God from generation to generation.

I think a good question to begin with is why God felt the need to enter this world as a small, weak, vulnerable baby put under the care of a very young woman who had no experience as a mother, a young woman who was a pleasant, poor, and lowly. Why? What a risk I would say! After all, God is God and could have entered this world as a baby from the wife of a King, a Queen who has a secure environment, wealthy, born in a warm bed, attended to by many women, all needs cared for, why? There are multitude of other options that would have made this whole birth thing easier and convenient. Or why not come down into earth as a fully grown person, powerful, demonstrating unquestionable reign over all the people. Kind of live the superheroes!  But you see, in this birth of Jesus we have the opportunity to know who God is and God sees us right where we are in this mucked up, conflict filled world that we live in.

Craig Satteriee in a commentary says it like this,  “…God speaks in Jesus as in no other way; not as in the Bible, not as in nature, not as by human reason or accomplishment, not as by listening to inner voices. Jesus tells us who God is. In Jesus we hear that God heals, forgives, embraces outcasts, and prays for those who hurt him. In Jesus we hear that God understands betrayal and denial, suffering and pain, humiliation, and death. Jesus tells us that God knows us; knows us as both individuals and as a world. God knows we need a Savior; and Jesus is that Savior.

In Jesus we hear that God brings victory over despair, defeat, destruction, and death; and God wills and shares that victory with us, with humanity, with creation.” Jesus in God walked around on this earth in human form with skin that people could touch. He was real, alive looked like everyone else. Jesus knew what it was like to be poor, to grow up in a family, to have parents. Jesus knew what it is like to be thirsty, hungry, cold and tired.

Why did God come to earth? God came down to earth as a baby to reveal something to us about who God is and also God came down to earth as a baby so we could learn something about ourselves. Regardless of our station in life, regardless of the mistakes we’ve made, regardless of our failures, regardless of our imperfections, limitations, we can receive the power of the living God in our own lives to have an authentic, abundant life as children of God. No one is excluded!

So, my friends, no matter what life gives you, you cannot say you don’t know who God is. We do know who God is. We remember this knowing of God every time we celebrate Christmas, when we take ourselves to the manger with Mary and Joseph, the angels, the shepherds, the animals, and we hear the story told again about the birth of Jesus. Born like all of us were born, into our real world filled with beauty, ugliness, triumphs and challenges, love and hatred, abundance, and scarcity. At some time we will or have experienced all of these things in our lives. But this is our task. We must always seek the light that we see first in the manger. This light that radiates out into the world. This world is in need of the light, we need the light. There is so much darkness in this world, so much darkness that keeps us hidden in the shadows, the darkness that keeps us away from experiencing this joyous, abundant life we have been given. There is a darkness that tells us life won’t get better, or things will never change, or I’m a lost cause. The darkness that continues to pull us away from the light that Jesus brings into this world.

We must never forget that in Jesus we hear that God heals, forgives, embraces outcasts, and prays for those who hurt him. We must never forget that in Jesus, God understands betrayal and denial, suffering and pain, humiliation, and death. In Jesus we can trust that God knows us and will be with us throughout our life. And in Jesus we can trust that we know God and in knowing God nothing, nothing can prevent us from seeing the light.

Scripture tells us that “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overtake it.” Seek the light and find the life of abundance, joy and love that you have always wanted. Amen