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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, December 19, 2019  

Today’s Scripture Reading | John 1:1–5

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. (NRSV)

Just five days from today we will gather for our Christmas Eve services. The abundant white poinsettias of Advent with purple bows will be changed out for vibrant red ones. The children will don their costumes as angels and barnyard animals. The choir will lift their voices and the trumpets will blast. We remember, we tell, we celebrate the birth of Christ, the entering of the Holy into material existence. “God-with-us” we call Jesus! Emmanuel!

Christ is the logos, the Word, of God—a Word so powerful that existence reverberates through that Word. I think of Genesis, when God said, “‘Let there be light’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). The psalms also recall the power of God’s Word to create. “The skies were made by the Lord’s word, all their starry multitude by the breath of his mouth” (Psalm 33:6, CEB). The word meaning “breath” is the same word for “spirit.” God breathes the Holy Spirit of Life into all things. These verses in John’s Gospel perfectly convey the threefold, yet unified God—God the Creator, God the Son, God the Spirit: Three-in-One.

But what I love about these verses best is the promise that in this darkest time of the year, darkness will not extinguish the light of life. And in fact, if we look with eyes open to holy mystery, we will see that Christ-light in every beloved creature and child of God.

Holy God of all creation, open my eyes to see you-with-us, Emmanuel. Let me see the light of your love and grace shining from the heart of every person. Quiet my soul, so that I may remember and realize you, even and especially in this busy season. Amen.

Written by Nanette Sawyer, Associate Pastor for Discipleship and Small Group Ministry

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