God with us

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)
Yet to reveal God to human beings and to redeem us all, it was not enough for God to speak His Word into the darkness. So we have the mystery of the Incarnation.
The Word 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. (John 1:14, NIV)
The Message translation puts it this way: The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into our neighbourhood.
This is the message of Christmas – that for our salvation God became a human being, Immanuel, God with us. This is the vital message we must proclaim to our neighbours and friends. But just as the Word of God became the Baby in the manger, and lived among us, so the gospel message cannot be allowed to remain as mere words. We must embody the message – Jesus must live in us. The Church is now the body of Christ on earth. We are His hands, His feet and His voice.
You may have heard this story from the persecuted church. Richard Wurmbrand was a Lutheran pastor imprisoned for his faith by the Communist authorities. While Wurmbrand was in prison, he shared a cell with a young Communist who wanted to have nothing to do with Christianity. Rations were very low in the prison, and yet Wurmbrand used to share his bread with that atheist. One day the man asked, “What is Jesus like?” Wurmbrand answered, “I am a little bit like Jesus.” The young man said, “If Jesus is like you, I would like to know him.”
We must not only proclaim the good news of Christmas – we must also live it out. If our neighbours are ever going to see Jesus for themselves, they can only see Him in us.
May the peace of Christ fill our lives – and overflow to everyone we meet.

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