John 1:1-14 (NRSV)
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 into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.

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

Illumination

Joy to the world, the Lord is come! We celebrate this day of Christmas welcoming the savior of the world, the true light of God that has arrived and in his life, also brings us life. John begins his gospel with a great affirmation of the incarnation, how God became flesh in Jesus, became known in human life that revealed God’s love and will to us all. In all of the darkness of our world, God continues to bring light that illumines our pathway. God enables us to take steps forward. God helps us discover our exits from dark places. God’s light reveals evil for what it is so that we can know, decline and denounce its temptation.

Here we are also reminded that in Christ we become children of God. We have a home in God. We have a heavenly parent who loves and provides for us. We are not left to our own. We are not orphans. To be children of God is to receive such a tremendous gift in the ways God accepts us, regardless of our past. To be a child of God is know the enduring care of God that will not leave us. On this day, we are invited to rejoice and celebrate with God whose joy knows no bounds. God wants the entire world to rejoice in the gift God has given for us. May God’s joy overflow into your faith this day.

Rev. Dr. Dave Summers

Prayer: Faithful God, We are thankful our waiting is complete. You have come to us this Christmas with just the perfect gift for our lives. May your love move into every hurting and wounded place we carry. May your love rebuild our hope and our outlook for the year to come. May your presence on this holy day touch us with joy that lifts us close to you and each other. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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