Dec 26, 2005

one word (epilogue)

Regarding the "one word" post, some of you have emailed and asked what one "word" did I end up going with for the Christmas Eve service I preached. Since it's past the service, I'm happy to share.

What stood out to me from several of everyone's thoughts is that each description was "true." In other words, "incarnate," "glory," "peace," "king," and all the other concepts made absolute sense in focusing attention on what Christmas is all about.

Which sort of affirmed the idea in my head I'd started out with... "Word."

The Bible tells us that the "Word" became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:14) The amazing thing is that for many people at that time God was an abstract concept that (at best) they had a religion about. When that abstract "word" became flesh, though, suddenly there was the possibility of God literally having a relationship with us in the most personal way possible.

In many ways, "God" is an abstract word to many today:
  • God the "Father" is a word that confuses so many with a weird family background.
  • The "Holy Spirit" sounds like a word you'd find in the special effects from a movie.
  • "Christ" is perhaps just the first part of the word "Christmas" to some.
Imagine this, though - the Word becoming flesh. No longer would God as Father be an abstract idea to us - the Holy Spirit a weird concept - Jesus Christ just be a man... all of the things we wonder about the Lord would take on a "flesh" that is personalized to our lives. Just as God showed up as Jesus, He actually longs to personalize His presence in our life right now. I mean, can you just imagine that?

Here's the kicker, though... while God does long to show up in our lives in the way that we need, this isn't about us making God into our own image. For example, He showed up in the way the most religious people in Jesus' day least expected - as a baby birthed through a controversial pregnancy in a stinky manger.

So if that's the unexpected how He showed up then, how might Jesus unexpectedly be showing up in your life these days?

The Word... becoming "flesh" to you?

I personally like the idea of the word "Word" to meditate on this season. Even though December 25 has passed, I'm sticking with it as my Scripture to chew on for a bit. After all, the most important day isn't Christmas - it's today... what will you do with Jesus today?

Or perhaps the better question - what would Jesus long to do with you today?
"The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish." (John 1:14, MSG)


Anonymous said...

Tony, I don't think you'd know this, but... the Mass of the Nativity of the Lord (for Christmas Day) takes as its Gospel reading John 1:1-18. Word. (Sorry, couldn't resist an awful pun) ;-)

Tony Myles said...

That's so cool, Patricia! "Word up!"

Logan Bennett said...

Hey man, I always love your thoughts, they always get me thinking. I have grown up in the Christian faith my whole life so Holy Spirit, Father, Christ, Word Becoming Flesh makes sense to me. But i never really stop and think that It might not makes sense to others, and until the word actualy does become flesh for others it might not ever makes sense to them.