Sermons from St Faith's     


The Word Made Flesh

Revd Denise: Christmas morning, 2012

John 1:1-14

On this Holy morning may I speak in the name of the living God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

The day has arrived, the world is waking up and we are gathered to give thanks for God’s great glory and we are all invited to share in the mystery of what Christmas really means.

In the beginning was the Word and it is through the Word that we seek an enduring meaning to life. The Greek word ‘Logos’ which we translate to ‘Word’ is an elusive term and is in danger of being over simplified. Most people living in Jesus’ time would have understood the term but in translation something gets lost. You actually can’t describe something that means creativity, rationality, the dynamic of meaning, the force of life and even a much wider meaning as well. It doesn’t just refer to the spoken word but also the idea and thought behind the spoken word; the vision, the plan and the wisdom that inspire it. It is the Logos ‘Word’ that has the power to change, create and transform, it defines divine activity. John’s gospel is a prologue to a great religious drama where all the themes and characters are examined throughout the rest of the book.

However what we focus on this morning is that at one moment in time and space when ‘the Word' became flesh and dwelt among us. John’s words remind us that God’s will was active at the beginning of everything. The Word  is at the heart, the beginning and the end of history, it is the origin of all that is. Life itself emanates from the heart of God piercing the darkness with light. This light is too powerful for the darkness – that is the darkness of ignorance, superstition, violence, evil and death because the Word is a God of newness, transformation and illumination.

The Light arrived, not as a blinding flash or the brilliance of a glint of the sun on shining armour but instead the light came as a new born baby; a human being who would grow up to understand and share the same sort of joys and sorrows that we do. The Word that called the world into being now entered that world through Christ. Christ who doesn’t just sympathise with our pains and hurts but He empathises with them, he becomes involved in our human day to day lives and so shares our weaknesses and limitations. Jesus the Logos presents himself to us and we are all invited to receive him.
The true meaning of Christmas has to be lived out in real lives in the real world. Christmas is not just some fanciful idea but it signals God’s move from speaking through the prophets to sending His Son to live amongst us.  In the mystery of the holy child breathing in the manger we are reminded that the coming of Jesus among us can bring us a new spiritual birth, He can restore our self esteem and enable us to become channels for bringing his love and peace to others.  The strange circumstances of the Christ child’s birth do not set Him apart from us but do help us identify Him; He shares all the frailty and insecurity of our human lives. The culture may have been very different over 2000 years ago but the world of today is neither more nor less fragile and broken than it was then. There were and still are so many victims of crazy officialdom, callous bureaucracy, oppression, vulnerable people living in terror. Just over a week ago 26 children and teachers were massacred in Connecticut. We like the Holy family are caught up in the historical events of our time but I believe that more and more people today are looking for answers to strengthen their beliefs and spiritual rebirth.

The Christmas story has the potential to change our world and our lives forever but sadly the human tendency to prefer the darkness to light is often the easier option. However the promise of John’s Prologue is that the darkness despite its best efforts, has never been able to extinguish the light.

God sent his Son Jesus into the world to live, die and rise for us in order to bring new beginnings and fresh hope and this is where our faith needs to be rooted. If we trust in God who shares our suffering and endures the darkness of evil then He will carry us through the dark nights of the soul and help us find fresh hope, compassion, trust and love. Our ultimate hope should lie in the future, in a kingdom that dawned with the coming of Christ into the world but will not be fulfilled this side of eternity. However like so many who have gone before us we should strive to bring about hope, healing and dignity to the needy and provide a glimmer of God’s light and love to shine in their lives. At Christmas time there is often a greater need than ever to offer help to the lonely, the vulnerable and the sick. Can we be aware of people who for all sorts of various reasons will not find this Christmas a happy time, not a time for dancing in the aisles of the supermarket to the tune of familiar Christmas songs and carols. There are people who won’t be sitting round a cosy fire with plenty of food and drink. Can we put just a spark of hope back in their hearts?

God gives us a choice, it is up to us to respond to Jesus’ teaching and choose the light. To step into our proper created place as God’s children alive in Him. And although our responses can’t always be used to minimise the problems of evil and suffering they can show that hope and love will not be extinguished, despite all that conspires against them.  If our actions show love, compassion and generosity we are in some small way bringing God’s Glory and kingdom a little closer to us here on earth.  Yes Christmas is about a great gift given to world through Jesus ‘the Word made flesh’ but also through us and that is an awesome privilege and responsibility.

We are called to trust the light of eternal truth, to walk in it and so become children of light. My prayer for you this Christmas is that you allow God’s illuminating presence to flood your hearts and souls afresh with the light of His Glory. Wishing you all the blessings and joys of this Holy Season.


The sermons index page

Return to St Faith's home page