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What it all meant

December 27, 2023
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Daily Scripture

John 1:1-5

1 In the beginning was the Word
    and the Word was with God
    and the Word was God.
2 The Word was with God in the beginning.
3 Everything came into being through the Word,
    and without the Word
    nothing came into being.
What came into being
4     through the Word was life,
    and the life was the light for all people.
5 The light shines in the darkness,
    and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

When John wrote Jesus’ story, he focused on the event’s deep spiritual meaning rather than on the physical facts of Jesus’ birth. Yet the key truths came through in John (our Christmas Eve reading) as much as in Matthew and Luke. In Matthew, the magi followed a star in the darkness (Matthew 2:10). In Luke, the Lord’s glory shone around the shepherds at night (Luke 2:9). John described Jesus’ coming with the words, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

  • “In the beginning,” in any language, carries us back to mysterious realms of which even today’s science is just scratching the surface. John didn’t say the Word “began” in the beginning; he said the Word “was.” That meant Jesus has always been here and will always be here. He is eternal; he is God. In what ways does it matter to your faith that Jesus is more than just a good man?
  • “Through the Word was life, and the life was the light for all people” (verse 4). So many kinds of darkness try to put out the light in our lives—the death of someone we love, a broken relationship, facing unfair or abusive treatment, financial fear and insecurity, and many more. What does it mean to you that Jesus’ light keeps shining even at those times? How can you keep your spiritual eyes open to take in and apply Jesus’ light to all of life?
Prayer

Lord Jesus, you came to earth, not just for some small subset of humanity, but aiming to restore and uplift your entire creation. Help me play my humble part in that vast, saving mission. Amen.

GPS Insights

Ashley Morgan-Kirk

Ashley Morgan-Kirk

Ashley Morgan-Kirk serves as the Online Connection and Care Pastor at Resurrection. After seven years of higher ed in religion, she finally understands that she can't figure out God (no matter how hard she tries). She’s leaning into the challenge to move from a thinking-based faith to loving God with both her head and heart.

It always helps me to see it. My family loves to play games together. Inevitably this week while we’re together for the holidays, we’ll learn a new game. I always pay attention to whoever is explaining it verbally, even though I know ultimately, I will understand it best once I see it.

I felt that same way on Christmas Eve when the candlelight was passed. I heard what it meant that Jesus entered into our dark world as the Light, but it helped me to see it. I understood it best once the room was dark and the light entered in and gradually filled it.

When I think about one of the reasons God would show up in our world, I wonder if it is because God understood we needed to see it. Jesus shows us with his life what it can look like to live our lives. And so I wonder about people who are looking for light in this world. Perhaps the same thing applies–they might understand that light best by seeing it.

What I know from the whole story, not just the Christmas story, is that God desires to use us as light in the world so that others can see and understand the Light. So may the light we carry from Christmas shine for all people, so they might see God’s light.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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