December 25, 2022: The Nativity of the Lord
Gospel: John 1:1-18
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 to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him. But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God. And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.
John testified to him and cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’” From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.
I love this Gospel, maybe because I’m obsessed with words: The way they look, the shades of their meanings, the turn of an “s,” the melodious blends and the mysterious digraphs that mold language into expression. How joyous is it that Jesus is the word? God speaks into the void and the Word utterly changes everything. And this Word is no formless sound; He is flesh. It reminds me of something I learned way back in Humanities I: God is “that than which nothing greater can be thought.” A word is just an idea – “apple.” But an apple in the hand? Much greater! “The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The reality of God fully in our lives – there is nothing greater than that. That’s reason to rejoice!
What one word sums up your feelings about Advent? Choose a word and write it on a piece of paper. Let other words come to you that reinforce your central word, or perhaps allow yourself to draw or doodle images evoked by your word. Why did you choose the word you chose? How does this Advent feel different from other Advents? How is it the same? What colors do you associate with your word? What emotions? Give yourself room to be creative. Celebrate your word!