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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 1:14


As many of you know, the church follows a lectionary, which contains predetermined readings for each Sunday and feasts, such as Christmas. The Sunday lectionary is a three-year cycle, focusing in turn on Matthew, Mark, and Luke with the Gospel of John interspersed throughout.  Some feast days have the same readings for all three years, such as Ash Wednesday. Other seasons feature a similar story from each Gospel, such as a John the Baptist story on the second week of Advent.

Christmas Day includes the same three options each year. Often the first set is given primacy and the nativity account from Luke is favored by churches for the Christmas Eve service.  Indeed, two of the three options are from this portion of Luke. The third option is the beginning of the Gospel of John, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….” I love this Gospel, particularly on Christmas, and we often use this on Christmas Day.

The beginning of the Gospel of John invites us to contemplate God’s choice to be incarnate.  God could have led us in innumerable ways, yet incarnation is selected as best through infinite wisdom. Consider in your own life how different knowledge and actual experience are. A resume tends to focus on experience more than the education, which reveals a deeper understanding of the knowledge. While God’s capacity to understand without the experience undoubtedly exceeds ours, God chooses to be incarnate in order to experience humanity alongside us.  Whether or not it changed God, it has changed humanity, forever and forever more.  


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