John 1:1-14. In the beginning.
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, Oh Lord, Our King, Our Strength and Our Redeemer! AMEN.
In the name of the Father and the son and the Holy Spirit- Amen.
In recent weeks the Gospel reading has told us about Jesus being baptized in the Jordan by John. This is the John who in today's reading is shown as the forerunner announcing Jesus' coming the first time.
This reading today goes on to tell us more about Jesus himself and His ministry.
There are two things that we learn. As a whole He was not accepted by His contemporaries in Israel and also that those who accept Him are given the right to become children of God.
That is speaking essentially to all you mighty people of God who have come here today to present yourselves before our great God and Saviour, Jesus Chris.
They say there are three types of people who attend Church.
1. Those who do not believe in God but come because they see this as a good club to belong to with reasonable perks for the members!
2. Secondly there are those who believe but who think God is on their level. He has to answer to them and His anointed ministers are just lucky to be in those positions.
3. There are those who 'fear God'. That is they have an awesome regard for God realizing that He is the maker of heaven and earth. He made them and they answer to Him even for the idle things that they say!
That's us here today. We are people born of God. We have accepted that the awesome God who made us condescended to come down to earth as a man in order to make it possible for us to share eternal life with Him! He did not owe us anything. In fact we owe Him life! Yet He was willing to die for His creation and give us a new birth as sons and daughters of God.
This is the God who was made flesh and dwelt among His creation. We even at this remote time should be able to appreciate the glory of our Saviour Jesus. This is because all Christians live in Him and He lives in them!
We should all be living a separated life now. By that I mean we should be different to the typical person in the world outside the Church. When we became Christians we should have started changing to reflect the nature of Christ. One person put it this way. A Christian does not live Holy one day a week as the ancient Israelites did, or tried to do! A Christian should be living a Sabbath lifestyle. Holy unto God 24/7.
As we come up to Easter we should be examining ourselves to see how we are living with regard to our calling.
For instance we are to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. To the extent we do not follow those maxims we are unrighteous!
If we promise that we will do something big or small; to the extent that we let others down, we are unrighteous!
I am not mentioning these things to make us feel guilty; even though we are! What I am doing is drawing us to see that we have to lean on Jesus more and rest in Him so that our conduct will converge on our calling!
The Gospel passage points out that Jesus is the light of the world. In Church and outside we are His ambassadors and He tells us in Matthew 5:14 that WE are the light of the world.
We are to be a light to all our brothers and sisters in the Church and to all the world outside. To the extent that we miss the mark we are to repent and draw on Holy Spirit in us to do better in future.
Maybe some of you here can remember the phrase that was used by many in the eighties when someone wronged them and apologised. They would say, “Don't be sorry; stop doing it!”
The reason Jesus has given us His Holy Spirit to live in us, and when we ask to be upon us, is so that with His help we will “stop doing it”!
We are to be the light of Christ shining in the darkness. All authority has been given to Jesus and He has delegated that authority to us. So the darkness cannot overcome our light when we live in Jesus.
So all of us who have answered God's call, and for whom Holy spirit is working with us and in us, let us be the mighty people of God that Jesus has made is. He said, “Be Holy for your Heavenly Father is Holy!”
It is not “become holy”! It is 'be holy”! We cannot make ourselves holy. Holiness has been imparted to us. Now we are lo live according to what God has made us in our spirits. We, in our spirits, are new creations. Our minds are being renewed as we look to Jesus Christ for guidance through Holy Spirit in us. Our spirits have been sealed by the Holy Spirit, so they cannot be corrupted again.
Now with our perfect spirit and our ever more renewed mind, it's two to one against our flesh and it's bad habits. So our conduct should be getting better and better every day as we yield to the promptings of the Holy Spirit as He relays to us the mind of God.
That's what God has done for us through sending His Son Jesus in the flesh to live, die for us, and be resurrected as the pioneer of our path to eternal life.
So paraphrasing Verse 14…
So the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and now lives in us, and we have seen his glory, and we have been called to show forth His glory, the glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.