Christmas Message: John 1:14-18: Have You Seen the Glory?
Are you bored of Christmas? Does it seem repetitive to sing the same carols for a month every year? Have you felt your heart grow hardened to the incarnation of Christ? In September this year, I went on a road trip with an English family from church to the outskirts of Nashville, Tennessee to see an eclipse. One of the members of our company had become entirely obsessed with it, so, he went on Nasa’s website and found us GPS coordinates for a carpark where we could view the eclipse with 100% totality. The whole process of the moon coming before the sun took maybe a total of 30mins. Right in the middle of the eclipse the parking lot went dark, the street lights came on, and the crickets began to chirp. It was as dark then at midday in Tennessee as it was at 10pm last night here in Geraldine. The sun was still shining just as bright as before but the moon had obscured it so that it no longer provided the light it once did.
For many of us this has happened in relation to the glorious mystery of Christmas. Some of us have allowed the material worries of Christmas and the cares of the summer holidays to obscure our ability to see and rejoice in coming of Christ. We can’t see the light in the world. Perhaps for others in our group this morning, Christmas has become dull by its sheer repetition and you have woken up on boxing day year after year having gone through the motions of Christmas but without thinking about or rejoicing in the radiant realities behind the baby in the manger. There are still more who I guess have never noticed anything particularly spectacular about the baby who was born in an obscure town in the middle east 2000 years ago.
So, what does the baby in the manger mean for us? What is John’s solution to our problem of not seeing and cherishing the glory of Christ? Here is what I think is a summary of John’s answer. If you are taking notes, this is the main idea of John’s message for us today. We will see and cherish the glory of Jesus when we realise who He is and what he has come to do. Let me repeat that for you. So that is my aim this morning; I want with the help of the Holy Spirit to explore again who Jesus is and the glory of what he has come to do. And my prayer is that while I am explaining these things to you, God will bless my words so you are lifted up to see with the eyes of faith Christ as He really is whether for the first time, to receive him as saviour, or again to worship him afresh this Christmas.
Let me give you and outline of where we are going. There are four parts. (1) Who is Jesus? (2) What makes Him Unique? (3) What did He come to do? (4) How Should We Respond? (Let me repeat that again for those of you who are trying to write that down).
I am going to be paying specific attention to John 1:14-18. So, if you haven’t already got your bible open there open it together with me now. Verse 14 begins with the first part of John’s solution of to our lethargy towards Christ. It tells us who Jesus is. He is as it says, “the Word.”