Steve Hartman on John 1: 1-3, 14-18
Steve's last sermon as Third's Senior Pastor
What a privilege it is when someone shares themselves with us! This week, the last Sunday before we celebrate Christmas, we turn from the familiar Nativity texts to look anew at an equally familiar text: the opening of the Gospel of John. Why? Because it helps us see that Jesus' incarnation was really a revelation--God's choice to make Himself known to us by becoming one of us. The Father hasn’t just “sent” Jesus as a "messenger"; in Jesus, He has come Himself. God the one and only has been made known by God the one and only in the person of one who has been at the Father’s side from all eternity. Incarnation as Revelation means that we can really know God.
The Angels' Candle
The fourth Advent candle represents the Angels who, throughout scripture, appeared to proclaim important works of God. The angles announced Jesus' birth and gave glory to God in the Highest, proclaiming Jesus as both God and King who will rule forever.
John 1:1-3, 14-18
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15(John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.