Today, we light the Green, Black, Blue, Gold and White Candles. The Green Candle represents life and all that Father God created in Christ, Good and Whole. The Black Candle represents the Evil and Corruption of Sin that entered our World through our rebellion. The Blue candle represents the Hope that comes from the Promises of a future Savior and King. The Gold candle represents the birth of the long expected King and Savior. The White Candle represents the Birth of the King and the Hope of His coming Kingdom.
And The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
and we have seen His glory,
Glory as of the only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth.
1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 1:2 He was in the beginning with God. 1:3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 1:4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 1:7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 1:8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. 1:9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 1:11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 1:13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 1:15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”) 1:16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
1:18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, He has made him known.
And so we end where we began: God The Word was born and has lived among us!
Of all the miraculous things the Lord has done – revealing His plans and purposes through His promises – The Word becoming human to live with us is the most significant. It reveals His grace and truth in the most profound way.
John ponders this reality at the beginning of his Gospel in the verses above. He also reflects on his experience of being with Jesus in the short time He lived among His people:
1 John 1:1–4
1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning The Word of Life— 1:2 the life was revealed, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was revealed to us— 1:3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 1:4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
John and the other disciples heard Jesus teach, they saw Him heal and perform miracles, they touched Him. And then, John was entrusted with what he had seen and heard so that he could tell others. And in this way, we all might be able to “see Jesus’ glory.”
Glory is the Lord God’s radiant beauty that is made visible and is absolutely remarkable. Glory is seen. Glory illuminates profound beauty, in this case, Jesus’ grace and truth. This grace and truth is so profound it is absolutely remarkable – praiseworthy . Those who experience it never tire of talking about it.
Before Jesus, the Lord had given us glimpses of His profound goodness. But in Jesus we see the true nature of the One True God. Jesus was The Word. He was with the Father, at His side before Creation. Because of this, He is able to show us God in ways that we can comprehend and worship.
Jesus has come to enlighten us so that we might have eternal life.
Jesus has come to lead us back to our Heavenly Father in truth and grace.
Today we think of Him who gave all of Himself, who – in His great humility – came to be born like every other person. We think of Him – who even the Heavens cannot contain – who was laid in a manager.
And we rejoice with Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds and the small group of men and women who were there that day to see the newborn face of our Savior and King.
On this Christmas Day, we celebrate that first coming of our Savior to this dark and weary world. But we also look forward to another day. A day when our Savior returns for His Kingdom, when, like we’ve read in Psalm 2:8, the Lord will “make the nations [His] heritage, and the ends of the earth [His] possession.”
He will rule the Nations.
And in the final fulfillment of promises, our Immanuel will “make everything new” (Rev. 21:5)! There will be “no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Rev. 21:4). A King who sets everything right.
We live between these two advents – Our Savior’s birth and His return.
Today we worship Him who was born King of kings and Lord of lords.
And today we long for the day He will return to reign.
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!