A New Years Reflection

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV)

This seemed an appropriate verse to mark the end of a year that was full of trouble that seemed far from “light and momentary” for most of us. Who could have imagined the economic, political, and social havoc that a viral speck would wreak on our world when 2020 began?

I am grateful this morning for those who continue to fight on the frontlines in the battle against this pandemic that continues to rage as we enter a new year. I am also grateful for the vaccines that have given us hope for an end to it. But I am most grateful this morning for the eternal hope that I have in Christ Jesus “into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” (1 Peter 1:4) This is the living hope that will sustain us through whatever trials 2021 might bring.

As the sun sets on another year, my prayer for you is the one offered by Paul in his letter to the Colossians. May God “fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” May you “live a life worthy of the Lord” and may you “please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.” (Col. 1:9-12 NIV)

If my posts in some small way assist you in that, may all glory be given to God, without whom I could write nothing of consequence.

Happy New Year to you all.

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13 NIV)

The Word Became Flesh

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1,14 NIV)

As Christmas draws near each year, I instinctively find myself drawn to John’s account of the Gospel. From his unique perspective as the self-described “disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23), John understood better than anyone that the true meaning of Christmas reached far beyond the spectacle of the night Christ was born as detailed in the Gospel of Luke.

That precious babe lying in the manger was God incarnate – God in the flesh. During his short public ministry, with John by his side absorbing every word he spoke, Jesus showed us the Father and spoke to us the very words of God with a clarity and purity unmatched in all of Scripture.

Only through John do we hear Jesus tell Phillip, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. … The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.”  (John 14:10-11 NIV)

That is the unparalleled message of Christmas – that Jesus came to show us our Heavenly Father – a message so uniquely and profoundly articulated by John with those memorable and poetic words, “And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”

I pray this Christmas you will ponder those words, treasure them in your heart, and reflect upon their implication for your life. Almighty God is now Immanuel, God with us. He walked with John in the flesh 2,000 years ago and to those of us who have welcomed him, he dwells within us still in the person of the Holy Spirit.

May you experience that reality and the power of His presence this Christmas as never before.

“Once in our world, a stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world.” – C.S. Lewis