Summary: Being the hands and feet of Christ.
“The Incarnation is Not an Instant Breakfast Drink”
By: Rev. Ken Sauer, Pastor of Grace UMC, Soddy Daisy, TN www.graceumcsd.org
A word is far more than a mere sound.
Words can actually do things.
One poet tells how a certain man who had performed a heroic act found it impossible to tell his friends about it for a lack of words to describe it.
But there was a witness to the event whom the poet refers to as having been “afflicted with the necessary magic of words.”
He told the story, and he told it in terms that were so vivid and so moving that the poet writes: “the words became alive and walked up and down in the hearts of his hearers.”
John tells us, “In the beginning was the Word…”
When John Knox preached in the days of the Reformation in Scotland, it was said that the voice of that one man put more courage into the hearts of his hearers than 10,000 trumpets in their ears.
Words do things to people.
It’s been said that in the days of the Second World War, when Britain was short on allies and weapons, that the words of the Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, as he broadcast to the nation, did things.
The Old Testament is filled with the power of words.
Once Isaac had been deceived into blessing Jacob instead of Esau, nothing he could do could take that word of blessing back again.
The word had gone out and had begun to act, and nothing could stop it.
In particular we see the word of God in action in the creation story.
At every point, we read: “And God said…”
The word of God is the creating power.
Psalm 33:6 tells us: “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made.”
The writer of the Book of Wisdom addresses God as the one “who has made all things by your word.”
So when John was writing his Gospel about Jesus Christ he found in his own faith and in his own experience of his own people the ordinary word which is in itself not just a mere sound but a dynamic thing, the word of God by which God created the world, the word which expresses the very idea of the action of God, the wisdom of God which was the eternal creative and illuminating power of God.
So John says, “If you want to see that word of God, if you want to see the creative power of God, if you wish to see that word which brought the world into existence and which gives light and life to everyone, look at Jesus Christ!
In him the word of God came among you.”
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.”
It is believed that the writer of John’s Gospel lived in Ephesus and he was trying to write a Gospel that both the Jews and the Greeks could understand.
Well, the Greeks had an understanding that the world was ordered and controlled by something called the Logos, which means, the word, the reason of God.
The Logos gave purpose, plan and design to the world and even controlled events.
The ability of persons to judge between right and wrong was the Logos living in them.
It was believed that “all things happen according to the Logos.”
The Logos was nothing less than the mind of God controlling the world and everything in it.
So John came to the Greeks and basically said, “For centuries you have been thinking and writing and dreaming about he Logos, the power which made the world, the power which keeps order in the world, the power by which we all think and reason and know, the power by which we come into contact with God.
Jesus is that Logos come down to earth.
‘The Word’, said John, ‘became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.’”
In Jesus Christ this creating, illuminating, controlling, sustaining mind of God has come to earth.
He came to tell us that we no longer need to guess and grope; all we have to do is to look at Jesus and we will see God!!!
That is the meaning of the word: Incarnation!
It’s the Christmas story and it’s powerful.
It’s much bigger than arguing with city governments about manger scenes in public squares.
It’s way beyond bumper stickers about keeping the Christ in Christmas.
It’s much, much bigger than all that!!!
It is about GOD!
And God revealing God’s Self…not just at Christmas time but for all time!!!