Same Story, Different View

Sunday, December 25, 2022
Pastor Deb Kielsmeier 

John 1:1-18

Merry Christmas!  What a joy filled morning this is. We are surrounded by carols, twinkling lights, cookies, and snow…. it is magical. (Well, we could have cut back on the snow a bit… But otherwise.)

I love to gather and hear again the story our Savior’s birth, the shepherds serenated by choirs of angels, and a star that guides wise men to worship the newborn king. There is just enough of the miraculous mixed with unexpected turns and intrigue to capture our imaginations… and hearts.

I mean, who doesn’t love a newborn baby?

In the movie Talladega Nights, Will Ferrell says grace at a family dinner, “Dear tiny Jesus, golden fleece diapers, with your tiny, fat, balled-up fists…”

With raised eyebrows, his wife interrupts him saying, “Jesus did grow up. You don’t always have to call him baby.”

But Ferrell’s character responds, “I like the Christmas Jesus best” And, he continues, “Dear 8lb., 6oz. newborn, infant Jesus. Don’t even know a word yet. Just a little infant, so cuddly, but still omnipotent… Thank you for all your power and your grace, dear baby God. Amen.”

Oh my. Yes, the infant Jesus is dear to our hearts. But that is NOT the end of the story. And it is not the beginning of the story, either.

The Christmas gospel we just read from John is nothing like the other gospel accounts. There is no young virgin mother, no shepherds in the field, no angel choir, no star, or manger.

John’s account is a bit like looking through the wrong end of a pair of binoculars.

If I look through the right end of these binoculars, I can zoom in on all kinds of details – like who is wearing Christmas tree ornaments for earrings and who looks like they stayed up too late last night wrapping presents. Just saying.

But if I switch –Now I can see all of you in this room in the size of a button.  A far-reaching perspective.

John’s account off Christmas is like looking through the wrong end of the binoculars. There are no details – instead you get this far-reaching cosmic view – one that is not limited by time or location.

He writes:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning, and through him all things were made.

And then in verse 14:  The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

John starts with the beginning of the beginning. And with the God who has always been and always will be. This is the Word, through whom all things are created. This is the Alpha and Omega who has become flesh and blood, stepping into his own creation that we may know him.

John continues: 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not know him. But, to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…

The Christmas Story is not limited to the tiny infant Jesus. It is not restricted to a long ago and far away time and place. Yes, we look back in wonder.

But look around you as well.

Because a true miracle is right here.

God is with us. still. Our Emmanuel, which means “God with Us,” dwells right here among us. Today.

Every day, people meet Jesus and come to know him through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Every day, Christ is born into the lives of those who will receive him.

We won’t have the same experience as Mary and Joseph.

We won’t be able to cradle the God of the universe in our arms.

BUT – Jesus still comes into this dark world, bearing the gift of life and light to all those who receive him.

I don’t know about you, but that is the story I need to hear over and over again.

God is with us. No matter what kind of a mess your find yourself in. No matter how dark the night. Right into the middle of all our pain and confusion, God continues to come…

No ear may hear his coming, but in this world of sin,
where meek souls will receive him, still the dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray; cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.


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