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  "And the Word Became Flesh..."




And the Word became flesh and lived among us. John 1:14. The same Word spoken at creation in Genesis appeared in the flesh. It was through the Word that God created and it is through the Word that God continues to create. Yet we are unable to hear the Word of God directly in creation. God must speak directly to us.


It is Luther who understood that the infinite dwells in the finite. This is how the infinite God is made known to us. John's Gospel goes on to say that this Word of God, in the flesh, is full of grace and truth. Now, the truth of God and the grace of God are pleased to dwell in Jesus: the infinite lives in the finite.


We celebrate the birth story of a truly human Jesus in the Gospel of Luke. Here the Word of God is wrapped in swaddling clothes or, as Luther says, wrapped in whatever garment Mary was able to supply from her own clothing. Here the Word of God is laid in a manager that now cradles a precious gift. It was necessary for our human understanding to experience the Word of God in the flesh. Now we can hear and grasp the Word of God and its purpose for us


The Holy Spirit makes the Word of God in Jesus Christ known to us in the church today; it is the Spirit that Jesus promised in John's Gospel. The Holy Spirit imparts the Word into us at our baptism so that the Word of God can now dwell within each of us, make the grace and truth of God known to the rest of the world. Each of us becomes a little Christ to the neighbor, witnessing to the Gospel.


The Word of God in Christ who is in infinite, becomes present for us in the bread and the wine, that are the finite. It is the body of Christ "for you" and "for me". It is the blood of Christ "shed for you" and "for me". Jesus is present as the resurrected Lord in the bread and wine "for us". The infinite is present in the finite. When we eat the bread and drink the cup, Christ is in us; again, the Word is dwelling in the flesh.


This is all of God's doing. It is gift. It is the divine presence that makes us one in God and one with one another. It is a holy act that makes us holy. This the will of God. It is full of mystery, understood only by faith.


The meaning of Christmas, therefore, has a two-fold understanding for our celebration. In the word "Christ", we celebrate the Word of God wrapped in the manger where God is pleased to come to us and dwell. In the word "mas" or "mass", that is the Lord's Supper, we share in the infinite gift to humankind by sharing in the Word of God. It comes to us and dwells in our flesh as we proclaim the birth of Christ for the world, as well as, our dedication to witnessing to the God who is pleased to dwell in us through the body and blood of Christ. THIS IS THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRIST! The Word of God is now wrapped up in us and we are truly thankful.


In the Creed of Luther's Small Catechism, Luther confesses: God created me (1st article); Jesus is my Lord (2nd Article); and the Holy Spirit calls me (3rd Article). The Church is the Body of Christ (3rd Article) and the communion of saints, the holy sanctified ones in whom Christ chooses to dwell in Word and Sacrament for our salvation (2nd Article), so that, we may bear witness to the world of the purposes of the God of Creation for all (1st Article).


God has reached out to us and touched us with the Word of Truth. Now, like the shepherds and later the disciples, go and proclaim, that is announce to the world, this birth and our new birth of the holy one of God.


Pastor Tim










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