Summary: A Sermon for the Second Sunday after Christmas John 1:1-18
2nd Sunday after Christmas
"Jesus Tented with Us."
1 ¶ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God;
3 all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 ¶ There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him.
8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light.
9 The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not.
11 He came to his own home, and his own people received him not.
12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God;
13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.
15 ¶ (John bore witness to him, and cried, "This was he of whom I said, ’He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.’")
16 And from his fulness have we all received, grace upon grace.
17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
18 No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.RSV
Grace and peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. amen
I would like to focus on one verse of the gospel lesson this morning. The first verse in the last paragraph which says:" And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory as of the only Son from the Father."
In Seminary, we studied this verse in our Greek class and we learn the word "dwelt" can be translated "tented" which gives a far greater meaning to this text. Jesus tented among us. Jesus pitched His tent among us.
Have you ever been camping with tents and sleeping bags? I have many times.
In one of the churches I served, we went camping with the Luther League. After we arrived at the site, everyone would get busy pitching their tents, getting out their stuff, and some would start the camp fire. This all took time and energy and we all knew we were going to stay awhile.
When I was in college, I worked at Camp Sunnyside---Easter Seal Camp-- for handicapped campers some of whom were in wheelchairs. Pitching the tents, getting things ready there was even a greater challenge. We had to find a smooth place to put the tent and the sleeping bags, we had to find wood, we had to cover the chairs so they would not get wet with dew during the night, on and on it went.
Pitching a tent means one is planning to stay awhile. Jesus came to be with us for the duration. He came to be with us in every circumstance of life. The Christmas story is the story of how God came to be with us in all circumstances of life.
Jesus made a commitment when he came to earth. We now live in that Christmas commitment. For many, the Christmas experience is "old hat." It is not exciting. We know what it means. We have lived with this Christmas tradition for thousands of years. Isn’t that all right. Traditions are something we can rely on, something we can hold onto, something which brings an anchor to our lives. In this case, the tradition of Christmas is comforting in its sameness.
There is a certain assurance, a certain confidence, a certain identity about the Christmas experience which is ok. We know what we are getting.
It is like the boy in the following:
"John knew exactly what he wanted for his birthday. His parents knew as well they had discussed it 6 months prior to the event. John knew that he would likely receive that for which he asked, provided he did nothing to earn his parents’ displeasure along the way to the birthday event. Eager to receive what he had asked for, he took care not to jeopardize the coming of the gift.