In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. …And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of an only child, full of grace and truth (John 1:1, 14).
For centuries, Christians have heard these words on Christmas Eve, probably dating back to the 4th century when we began celebrating Christ’s birth in December. For all the mystery about why Christians logged December 25 as Christ’s Mass, now commonly known the world over as Christmas, there is no mystery about the importance of John’s words to us.
This One born to Mary is of God. When we behold him, flesh among us, we behold God. It’s not what we expected or maybe even what we wanted:
- An infant rather than a warrior
- A peasant rather than a millionaire
- A commoner rather than royalty
And yet, the “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise” (Walter Chalmers Smith, 1867) chose this way to reveal God’s self. God has come into being as One of us to show us how we might be one with God. Take note, “For a child has been born for us” (Isaiah 9:6). From this child we have much to learn.