John 1:14-18

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known. John 1:14-18

Years ago there was a series of videotaped interviews of famous theologians and religious thinkers that came to our church as a Sunday School curriculum. (If I could remember what the series was called I would have named it right there…that part doesn’t matter so much to me right now.)

The only interview that struck me deeply enough to be memorable was of Rabbi Harold Kushner of “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?” fame. He was asked to describe God. In classic Jewish fashion, he said something along the lines of “We know God by what God calls us to do.

I might have totally messed up what he actually said but that is the line that caught me. The only way I know God is through what God calls us to do with and among our neighbors.

It was a marvelous line. It captured so well the heart of Judaism reaching all the way back to the promise to Abraham, “I will bless you and through you all the people of the earth will be blessed.”

But I also had a sense, deep inside, that God had revealed far more of Godself than a set of moral rules and regulations governing human behavior. Even as I listened to Rabbi Kushner’s eloquent thoughtfulness, my mind drifted back to these words from John: And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

 

God did more than show us, God showed up for us. In the flesh. Among us.

Sometimes I joke with my wife. I tell her that “I thought about buying a special gift for you today.” If she bites and asks what it was, then I say “Well, I didn’t actually buy it. I just thought about it. But it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it?” (OK, maybe she fell for it once but you get my point…)

The thought is nice but it is the gift that counts. Because the gift is real. Actual. Fleshly. Earthy. Not a figment of our imagination but a figure in our midst.

So we come back to the question. What do we know of God? We look first to Jesus and through that lens we see all of life anew.

Let us pray: Dear Lord, we don’t know who first told us about you. We can’t remember the first time that we heard the stories of Jesus. But we thank you for whoever it was who took us into their confidence and shared the good news of your love. We know they learned from someone and we know that lines stretches all the way back to John and to Jesus. May the story not stop with us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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2 Responses to “John 1:14-18”

  1. Carolee Groux Says:

    Pastor Kerry, I love your statement, “God did more than show us; God showed up for us. He was real; not a figment of our imagination, but a figure in our midst”.
    May we keep God close, and share His story of Salvation.

  2. kirk921 Says:

    A Men

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