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Pastor's Column 12/17/2023

PASTOR’S COLUMN

 

“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 1:14, NIV                                                 

                                                      

Sunday in Advent: “Acceptance”

 

John’s Gospel preserves what we possibly could not have known about the life and teachings of Jesus. John’s language is different; being later than other Gospels, there’s a focus on the deeper meaning of the mission of Jesus. There is no mentioning of the details that accompanied Jesus’ birth: No shepherds can be seen with sheep grazing on hills. No mentioning of the tiny manager in the barren stall, near an un-welcoming Inn. There is no heavenly choir singing; and, no angels appear with divine messages. But in the shift John gives us, we see the powerful Savior, who comes to people. He seeks to identify with us; so, we could identify with Him. Jesus is called “the Word.” John used a term, which his readers knew placed the Messiah above any human wisdom. Jesus is the Word; the living embodiment of God’s divine nature. He is the only Son; whom God the Father has sent to the world. Jesus has come, and He lived in our neighborhood. When John says “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” he simply meant Jesus claimed His residence among and within the human family. Attending a retreat for a national Missions Board, we had a very compassionate and enlightening facilitator. He chose to live among the homeless in Philadelphia for a year. The professor and University Chaplain, decided he would take a sabbatical, and study that population of men and women. To do so, he had to dress, eat, sleep, and spend days and nights with the people. After a while, he realized they were not a sample group to be researched. They became his friends; he gave up everyting, and engaged in their daily life of foraging for food; sleeping on frozen sidewalks in the bitter cold; begging for dimes; wearing worn-out clothes; and taking no showers. He said, “The gift I received, was living with the homeless. I became one of them, and they also accepted me!

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