CHRISTMAS DAY 2014

 TEXT – John 1:1, 10-14

 

Merry Christmas! What have you gotten as gifts? It was over a dozen years ago now that a man-made copy of Christmas arrived with the announcement from a company called Clonaid of a great gift: a clone, a child who is an exact copy of its mother. So much for the Virgin Mary! We no longer need her. We have our own virgin mother, bearing a child who is from her alone, conceived without a father. Man will bring forth new life, a fresh start, by creating a person who can be produced again and again and again. Man will achieve immortality, and on his own.

 

Even if this has been done – there are many who doubt it, and it has not been conclusively proven – what has been created? Only an exact copy of ourselves. A cloned human being would be:

  • A sinner who is filled with all the lusts and desires of our sinful flesh;

  • A person who will deal with physical frailties, illnesses, and all the afflictions that come upon this body and life;

  • A mortal who will die and rot away in the ground.

    This is the flesh that man makes, the light and life that he brings forth. The darkness will overcome it.

     

    On this Christmas Day, rejoice in the Word and work of the almighty God:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

 

THE ETERNAL WORD, THE HOLY GOD, HAS BECOME FLESH

 

How glorious this is for you! How blessed are we all because God took upon Himself our flesh, and so filled our flesh with His divinity.

 

Do we not all yearn for more in this life? We want to be spared the pain and suffering of disease, and so we watch what we eat, get all kinds of vaccinations, take vitamins, exercise, and get plenty of rest. Still, we get sick, from birth on. Some illnesses are minor, short-lived irritations; others weaken us for weeks; and there are those that end our lives in pain and suffering. Oh, to have a life, a flesh that is free from such afflictions!

 

Of course, better health is not all we need. Do we not also wish to be better people?

  • Smarter and wiser, able to make better decisions;

  • With better hearts, and so be more giving, more compassionate;

  • Better in our behaviors: calmer, doing more good, bringing help to those in need.

    Oh, to be better people, inside and out: body, mind, heart, and soul! Oh, to have more than just copies of our sinful selves, but to have – and be – better people, perfect people! But, how can we who are filled with and ruled by sin, who struggle with our own selves, create such people?

     

    God has done so. “The Word became flesh, and made His dwelling among us.” Let us all rejoice! How blessed are all people because the Word, the eternal Son of God, became flesh, a true man! A pure and holy and eternal flesh truly does exist, and has been prepared for all people. Jesus is not a clone raised up from us, but God come down to us as Man, given to us through the Virgin Mary. In Him is deliverance from sin and death and hell, for He took within His pure flesh the impurity of our sinful desires and actions and put them to death on the cross. By becoming man God has created a new flesh and a new life for us all!

     

    Blessed are those who believe on His name! “To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” To believe in Jesus is to be new, to be born of God. Through faith God takes us as His children. How blessed to have this new birth! You who believe in Jesus have received a new name – God’s child; you have received a new Father – God Himself; you have received a new life – Christ’s life; you have received a new flesh – the flesh of the Word of God Himself. When you see Jesus, therefore, see yourself. Where Jesus is, there you are! What Jesus is in His flesh – holy and pure – that, also, are you in your flesh.

     

    How can we do anything but rejoice? How can we not have smiles on our faces and love for God and all people in our hearts? How can we ever with grumpy faces or grudges in our hearts enter into this, God’s house, or speak ill of anything that is done here? This is the place where the Word made flesh comes to us and gives us His eternal flesh, the flesh that makes us new, one with God Himself! Let us enter into His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise!

     

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” God is man, that man may be in God. “We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Grant this vision and this glory, Lord, unto us all, and through us to all!