JOHN 1:1,14 (NIV)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was 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.
As we move through Advent and rediscover the roots of Jesus, we note once again that he came to us from a people, a place, and a story. A second, powerful image that runs through the story of Jesus, weaving through the Old Testament and culminating in the New Testament—is the image of Christ as the Word of God made flesh (John 1:14).
In Advent we prepare our hearts to receive the message anew that Jesus was born in Bethlehem as the Word of God among us—the living Word of God. Jesus moved and communicated as the embodiment, the very expression, of the heart of God. That’s what words do, and that’s what Jesus did as the Word of God made flesh.
For the ancient Hebrews, words held great meaning and power. While we are often flippant about our use of words today, the Jews understood that God, by his Word, spoke the entire cosmos into being (Gen. 1:3). The decrees and laws spoken through Moses held power for keeping Israel in alignment with the character of God and the goodness of his covenant. In fact, the people needed Moses to do the talking for God because they were afraid to have God speak to them for fear they would die (Ex. 20:1-19). God’s Word holds power (see Prov. 18:21; James 3), and when the first cries emerged from the rough stable in the Christmas story, that power was resident in Jesus.
Jesus is God’s speech to us. In the Bible, God’s speech is always creative, healing, penetrating, and transforming. Jesus is God’s Word to you, to me, and to humanity. God’s Word to us, in Christ, is creative, healing, penetrating, and transforming. In other words, God’s Word, Jesus, is life.
Hebrews 1:1-3a says this about the baby born in Bethlehem: “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”
In Advent we revel in the reality that “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 1:14).
When we feel as though we can’t hear the voice of God, we can simply open our Bibles to the Gospels and watch God’s Speech in full, powerful motion! The life of Jesus is God speaking to us; we can hear his words knowing that we are hearing the very words of God.
Advent is a thrilling declaration that God speaks to people. God speaks to you. God speaks to me. At the fullness of time, in Jesus, the Word made flesh, God spoke to us all.
Lord Jesus, you are the Word of God among us. I choose to hear you, to obey you, to follow you, and to be led by you into greater wholeness and awareness of your love for me this Advent. In Jesus’ name, amen.
What could you do to spend more time in the Gospels this Advent season, taking in the stories of Jesus, discovering (or rediscovering) how the Father wants to speak to you through the life of Christ?
For the Awakening,