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Christmas 2B
Sunday, January 4, 2009

Gospel: John 1: 1-18


Highlighted Verses: John 1: 1-18

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 came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.

5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. 6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. 14And 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.

15(John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”) 16From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

Tuesday is a special day. (Did you know?) We call it Epiphany.

When you’ve had an epiphany it means that you’ve come to understand something important –so what a perfect name for the day that we celebrate the visit of the magi or “wise men.” They follow a star and have an epiphany of their own – much like Simeon did in last week’s Gospel lesson – that Jesus is the Son of God.

Lots of times we think of the wise men as being part of the Christmas story – and visiting Jesus in the manger – but that’s probably not true. We think they visited when he was a little older. We’re also not quite sure how many of them there were. Usually we think of there having been three – but that’s probably because the Bible tells us they brought three presents: Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.

But the important thing is what their visit marked. In the Gospel of Matthew, the visit from the magi is important because it is the first time that Jesus is recognized by others as God in human form. We call this the “incarnation.”

God came to Earth in the form of Jesus – and throughout the Gospels we hear stories about the epiphanies of those around him as they come to realize just how special he is.

Will you remember Epiphany on Tuesday? Good.

Let’s pray.

Dear God,

We thank you for coming to join us on Earth in the incarnate form of your son Jesus. Help us to arrive at epiphanies of our own as we study your word.


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