Sermon St Mary's 2nd Sunday of Christmas 4/1/09.
Jer 31:7-14; John 1:10-18
<<The incarnation invites us into relationship with God. But it also accentuates the divide between those who know God and those who don't.>>
John's gospel different to the others. Matt and Luke begin with accounts of events leading up to Jesus birth. Mark begins with adult Jesus preaching. John famously begins with this lyrical passage – drawing back the curtain so we see not just the Christmas story but the deeper significance behind it.
“The word became flesh and dwelt among us” v14
“it might well be held that this is the greatest single verse in the NT.” Barclay.
Creating word. Divine Logos. Become human flesh and blood, weakness.
Tomes of philosophy – what is god like?
Superfluous one act – by looking into the face of Jesus of Nazareth
face to face – far more than just words.
meeting jacqui and luke at airport: words, txt, phone – hugs, eating christmas dinner
application: being a christian not principally about words: creed
Word made Flesh: relationship.
Physical, fleshly image: Received him, believed in his name, born of God
Baby womb --> outside world draws its first breath
whole new way of life – not just better/more enlightened. conversion,
“He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.” v11.
Christmas - nativity plays, christmas cards, sung carols.
Too Familiar? – unexpected...Shepherds, farmyard animals, wayward astrologers
visit of magi – herod asks scribes and chief priests.
Teenage girl. Search. What will she be like. Phone book / desparation door.
Person not words: sharp contrast those who accept and those who reject. Haggle over words – which version of the inspiration of scripture? What do you believe really happens in hc?
Do you know Jesus?
“His own people”
Then Israel – today the church.
Celebration Start a new year. Have you accepted Jesus?
Liz crib service - Putting away the christmas decorations
When Jesus came to Golgotha they hanged Him on a tree,
They drave great nails through hands and feet, and made a Calvary;
They crowned Him with a crown of thorns, red were His wounds and deep,
For those were crude and cruel days, and human flesh was cheap.
When Jesus came to Birmingham they simply passed Him by,
They never hurt a hair of Him, they only let Him die;
For men had grown more tender, and they would not give Him pain,
They only just passed down the street, and left Him in the rain.
Still Jesus cried, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do,"
And still it rained the wintry rain that drenched Him through and through;
The crowds went home and left the streets without a soul to see,
And Jesus crouched against a wall and cried for Calvary.