Summary: What God gives is His word as person. "The Word became flesh and moved into my neighborhood."
Sunday, December 21, 2008
The Word as Person
Text: John: 1: 14-15
Eugene H. Peterson in The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language translates our text in this manner:
“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.”
This Sunday we bring you the third installment in our four part series, “What God Gives…”
The first Sunday we explored that What God Gives is his Word as Power. If we believe that we can become a child of God; then we can inherit the benefits that come to his children.”
Last Sunday we examined What God Gives is his Word as Peace. For those who love the Lord, his presence in you is an ultimately divine peace.
This Sunday as we stand on the crest of a new Christmas Morning, I declare What God Gives is his word as person. “The Word became flesh and blood, moved into the neighborhood.”
The birth of Jesus Christ over 2000 years ago should say to each of you that an essential moral attribute of Jesus Christ can also be discovered in you.
A moral attribute is a predisposition or state of the will that operates as a permanent choice or preference of the spirit.
The spirit of Jesus Christ is to be benevolent. “benevolentia dei”. God’s willing of the good as an expression of God’s love.
If Christmas is to have any real meaning, it is for each of us to manifest in our spirits the essential moral attribute of Christ, which is that we should be benevolent.
God expresses his love by being benevolent. The ultimate expression of God’s benevolence is that His Word became flesh in the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ.
Christmas loses its meaning if we are not benevolent.
For God so loved that world that he gave…. For God so loved that world that he was benevolent.
God is good and all the time God is good. God is always benevolent. In Jesus Christ, we find a continuous expression of benevolence.
Sometimes benevolence gets expressed as mercy.
Other time benevolence gets expressed as justice.
All the time benevolence gets expressed as love.
Here is my argument: if we are made in the image of God, Jesus Christ is the image of God. Therefore, we have the capacity to be as benevolent as Jesus Christ.
1) Benevolence means that we should love ourselves to the degree that we would not do violence even to ourselves. That why we should all be committed to a healthy lifestyle.
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” 3 John 1:2
2) Benevolence means that we should love others to the degree that we become their advocates for a better quality of life.
When I was hungry, you fed me; when I was naked, you clothed me; when I was lonely, you comforted me…
3) Benevolence means that our love of God should be manifest in everything that we do.
Jesus says that you love one another, as I have loved you.
He issues this challenge: how can you say that you love me who you have not seen, and hate, thy neighbor who you see everyday?
The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.
Will you embody the word in your neighborhood? Will you embody the word in this neighborhood?
If Christmas is to have true meaning than the word of God’s benevolence has to become expressed in all of us, especially in you.