I love how The Message version phrases the verse, John 1: 14,
“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.”
I love the challenge it brings to us too.
Christmas comes around year after year, and for some it is the best season of the year, bringing huge joy and celebration, time with family and friends, the exchange of gifts, the feasting of a huge amount of food. But for some Christmas is not like this. For some it stirs terrible memories, it highlights loneliness and is tough financially and psychologically for many. The world we live in draws attention to the big celebration it should be and quite often forgets about those it is a difficult time for. We, as Christians, should be the first to remember those it’s hard for.
Christmas, for Christians is one of the major celebrations of the year, and the picky among us will try and say that we don’t know the exact birth day of Jesus, however, he was born. And that is enough for a celebration. Despite not knowing the exact day lets use Christmas to celebrate that Jesus came into this world, that God sent His only son to become flesh and come into this messy world to save us. His birth alone was miraculous, He was born into a dubious family situation, that could have caused huge shame on Mary and Joseph, He was born in messy conditions, a King should not be born in a stable. God lowered himself to enter his world, He deserved to be treated as king, yet He chose to be treated as slave. The world He was born into needed saving, hence His birth, death and resurrection. The world was a messy place, but He came into it because He loves us and wanted to save us and reconcile us with God. The Christmas story is repeated over and over and often we lose the sight of how miraculous it is, how many angelic visitations there were, and just how amazing this birth was. There was both the lowest of society at the time, and the highest of society there, the shepherds and the wise men. How wonderful that Jesus’ first moments were celebrated by those frowned upon in society and those highly respected. He came for us all, and His birth represents that.
The message version of John 1: 14, see above, really challenged me, and I think it’s a challenge for us all. As Christians we should representatives, the hand and feet of God in our neighbourhoods. We should be making impacts on our community’s, befriending our neighbours and caring for those the community is neglecting.
Take this challenge away with you today, and pray about how you can show Jesus through your words and actions in your neighbourhood and community in 2014.