Lord, thank you for a new day and for another chance to read and reflect on your precious word. Amen John 1:9-14
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 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.
Professor Fred Kramer at the old Springfield seminary often compared the gospel of John to a pool of water so shallow that lambs could wade and so deep that elephants must swim. I love the gospel of John. It’s a great time to do a little wading.
It seems a bit strange to be reflecting on this passage in John during Holy Week when we have come to associate this section of Scripture, especially verse fourteen, with the incarnation of Jesus at Christmas. However, without the incarnation there would be no entry into Jerusalem, no last supper, no Garden of Gethsemane, no trial, no beating, no cross, no death, no grave and no resurrection. We would be living in a world without hope. We can thank God that in His great love for us, He sent Jesus into the world so that we might have hope and be counted as His children.
Unlike the world that did not recognize him, and his own people who did not receive him, we can be grateful today that God, by His spirit and His spirit alone, has made us children in His forever family. Through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have the right to become God’s children. We have been born anew, “not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
“All Praise to Thee Eternal God” is one of my favorite Christmas hymns. The first stanza, written in about 1370, was traditionally sung at Christmas time during the Middle Ages. Martin Luther wrote an additional six stanzas that were published in 1523. I have come to love the last stanza because it expresses my feelings about the incarnation and about the joy I feel in being loved unconditionally by God who did not spare His own son so that I could live with Him forever.
All this for us Thy love hath done;
By this to Thee our love is won;
For this our joyful songs we raise
And shout our thanks in ceaseless praise.
I pray that this hymn stanza expresses the joy of salvation you feel today as you begin this Holy Week journey.