“And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history—money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery—the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.” ― C.S. Lewis: (1898–1963: excerpt from his book “Mere Christianity”)
Gospel Text: (JN 1:1-18)
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 to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.
A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light,
but came to testify to the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world,
and the world came to be through him,
but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own,
but his own people did not accept him.
But to those who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to those who believe in his name,
who were born not by natural generation
nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision
but of God.
And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only-begotten Son,
full of grace and truth.
John testified to him and cried out, saying,
“This was he of whom I said,
‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.’”
From his fullness we have all received,
grace in place of grace,
because while the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God.
The only-begotten Son, God, who is at the Father’s side,
has revealed him.
As we travel through today’s gospel reading, we are reminded of the omnipotent power of God. In a moment, life is created and life taken away. Creation explodes into being or settles into a quiet stillness by the Word of God. His great love for us is revealed and we are given the opportunity to rejoice in it or to ignore Him. God has infinite power over our very lives and can end them in a heartbeat with one thought, one Word. Yet, in His infinite goodness, God gives us the free will to choose to love Him or walk away through our word.
Words are powerful things. God has given us HIS Word to pray and meditate upon. His Word is an open invitation to encounter the Holy Spirit and be guided into His heart. God used His Word to create the beauty of the flowers, the majesty of the tall cypress trees, and the complexity of one snowflake. God uses His word to continue the cycle of creation and continually beckons us to Him, closer and still closer. Words are powerful things. They can build up or they can destroy. Our words can bring forgiveness and healing or kill innocent hopes, dreams, and desires. Once our words leave our lips we can never take them back. Often they resonate in the minds of others for quite some time. Sadly, for many of us, words of destruction linger for a lifetime and become reruns in our minds and hearts. Yet, all we need to do is open our hearts to the healing words in the confession, to the living Word of God which reveals HIS infinite Mercy.
How do we want to use our words in 2016? Do we want to use them for love or for hate, good or evil? May all of us make the choice to honor God’s Word, appreciate the evidence of His love all around us, and choose to live lives guided by and revealing His living Word!
Amen – Happy New Year!
Amen – Happy New Year!