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Posted: December 31, 2010 12:00 a.m.

The word made flesh

Wives, do you wish your husbands were better communicators? Guys, do you wish your wives didn’t read things into what you say that were never there? You know what I’m talking about:

"So honey, what do you think?"

"It’s nice."

"What do you mean, what’s wrong with it?"

"Nothing, I said it’s nice...." And it goes back and forth.

I think that it is safe to say that none of us are perfect communicators. And you don’t have to be married to know that. One message is sent. A completely different one is received. Somehow, our words don’t always say what we want them to.

But, we can thank God that he is. He has let us know perfectly everything we need to know about him. We might not have every detail we’re curious about, but he has let us know perfectly what we need to know.

Look at how the apostle John starts his Gospel, under inspiration by the Holy Spirit: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men."

Then he goes on: "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."

Do you notice what John calls Jesus there? The Word. A word is something I use to communicate something that is in my head and heart to yours. Without it, you wouldn’t know what I’m thinking. You could only guess what I’m feeling. And, let’s be honest, you’d probably usually be wrong.

Now apply that to God. By nature, we see that God is powerful. You can’t look around at all that is and not realize that there is something bigger than us out there. By nature, our consciences tell us that we are less than perfect; they tell us that our failures deserve punishment. Put those two things together, and all we would ever guess from God is that we’re in trouble.

We’d never guess his love and sacrifice for us.

So God sent the Word, Jesus. John tells us he’s the one that made all things and is over all things, yet when he was in the world, the world didn’t see him. But he was God. He is God. He’s the light that changes our darkness. He’s the Word that perfectly communicates to us something we would never know. When we celebrate Christmas, that’s what we are celebrating. God has given us the perfect Word. Jesus is how God communicates to us his love and his will.

The Word became flesh. God became man, all so that we could understand his love for us, all so that we could understand that we are children of God. So Jesus came, born of that virgin, to show us what perfection looks like in how he loved everyone, and served them above himself. So Jesus came, and suffered our shame, was crucified for our sin, all because God loves us. And Jesus came, to rise again, to show us the victory over death God has in store for us.

Jesus came, the Word made flesh. He came so that we could understand the love of God in our lives and for our eternity. So as we make our New Year’s Resolutions today, resolve to spend mare time with the Word, that you may know God’s love that much more. Resolve to get to church this year and understand the Word better. Resolve to study the Word, that daily, you might be reminded of your status: children of God.

Happy New Year in the Word!

 

The Rev. Jonathan Scharf is pastor of Abiding Grace Lutheran Church in Covington. Full sermons and more information can be found at www.abidinggrace.com.

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