So the Word became human and and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’” From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us. (John 1:14-18, NLT)
As a kid who grew up in church, every December meant an opportunity to participate in the annual children’s program where we, under the direction of our Sunday School teachers, would present the Christmas story in costume. I use the word costume very loosely, because there weren’t any real costumes for us to wear. Our costumes consisted of our dad’s bathrobes and a dish towel tied around our heads with an old neck tie.
We would receive our parts, learn our cues, and take our places as the story was read. If memory serves me correctly, I usually played the role of one of the shepherds. In costume, of course.
John’s perspective on Christmas reminds me of those plays. Jesus came to the earth, robed in flesh and blood, and made his home among us. I like how The Message translates verse 14: “The word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.”
In so doing, he demonstrated grace and truth in perfect balance as he revealed God’s glory to the world. This balance is important, because truth without grace is legalism, and grace without truth is sentiment. Jesus provided them both in perfect balance, kind of in the same way that the Old Testament and the New Testament provide balanced Bibles.
In so doing, Jesus revealed God to us. The literal interpretation of the word revealed tells us that Jesus interpreted or explained God to us. He would later go on to boldly claim, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.” (John 14:9)
That’s John’s version of the Christmas story. Our problem is death and darkness. God’s solution is life and light. And the solution comes to us through the birth of a baby.