John 1:1-4

With everything that fills this Christmas season, John keeps our focus on the gift that matters most. The Word that is born to us this day. The Word that becomes flesh and lives among us. The Word in whom life comes into being and becomes the light of all people. This Word whose birth we celebrate gives us new birth. This Word shines in the darkness and is not overcome by it. 

The great theologian Howard Thurman tells the story of his grandmother, a formerly enslaved and deeply devout woman who never learned to read. Her inability to read left her dependent upon others to read the Bible for her. One day she was asked about her choice of scripture and why she was not a fan of certain books of the Bible. She told them about worship services during the days of enslavement. On her plantation, the enslaver refused to let an enslaved preacher preach to other enslaved individuals. The enslaver always insisted on a white preacher and the use of his favorite scripture, “Slaves be obedient to your masters…as unto Christ.” The preacher would go on and on about how slavery was God’s will. He would even say that if they were “good and happy slaves” God would bless them. 

The Word matters. The words we choose matter. When our words reflect the Word, they tell God’s liberating truth. They beautifully weave the gospel of love, grace and inclusion. When our words do not reflect the Word, they contrive a message of hate, exclusion and indifference. John knows all this and writes that within this Word is life. Though there was power to destroy, this Word chooses to create. Though there was power to condemn, this Word chooses to uplift. This Christmas Day let us receive this Word, this Christ, in whom we find our life and peace, and let our words reflect him.


How will your words bring new life to a hurting and conflict-ridden world? 


May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer. Amen.

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