Thursday, December 24, 2015

Advent Challenge Christmas Eve

In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made, without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life.  And that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.  

There was a man from God whose name was John.  He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so through him all might believe.  He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.  The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.  He was in the world and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him.  He came to that which was his own but his own did not receive him.  

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believe in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.  Children not of natural descent nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.  

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 testified concerning him.  He cried out, saying 'This is the one I spoke about when I said, "He who comes after me has surpassed me, because he was before me."'  Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.  For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.  

No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in the closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.  John 1:1-18.

Happy Christmas Eve!  Thank you for joining me on my Advent 'degrump' journey.  I've found it helpful to think each day about a short passage of Scripture and then try and convey my thoughts to you.  I apologise that I have dropped the ball towards the end.  The lack of wifi on our holiday stumped me!  

As I reflect on the last few weeks, what I am I left with from this time?
 
- spending time thinking hard about a short passage of Scripture for a period of time is a helpful process.  I feel like I have learnt a lot from mulling over the same verses for a few weeks.

- If accept and receive the truth of Jesus, we are in God's family.  I hope that this provides comfort to you if spending time with your family is hurtful or brings up disappointments and grief.  

- the more we know our Old Testament the more confidence we can have in the gospel accounts of Jesus' life.  The ideas of Jesus being the Word (reminiscent of God speaking back in creation, God's law being the right path to follow), Jesus' arrival announces God's dwelling with all people (not just his chosen people).

- Jesus brings light, truth, restoration and hope in a way that no other prophet could before.  And in a way that nothing else has since.  

- if we get to know Jesus, we are going to know God himself.  This is a pretty massive claim and worth taking notice of.  I'm going to keep reading John (slowly) in 2016 and see where these claims of John chapter 1 take me.  I hope it is encouraging and refreshes me as I seek to live each day trusting in Jesus.

Thanks if you've made it to the end with me!  I do hope that it has helped you too and that this Christmas is a special one when you get time to remember the incredible grace of God in sending his son so that we can know him, the one who is in control of all things, the one who we can trust, without fear of what lies ahead.  

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