advent lettering

O Come All Ye Faithful

He Invites Us In

Today's Reading

John 1:1-18

Christmas Eve, a day filled with final preparations and trips to visit extended families.

If you grew up like me, Christmas Eve was a time to spend with family. My grandparents, aunt and uncle, cousins, and any other relatives and family friends would gather at someone’s house, share a meal, and exchange presents. While Christmas morning was just my immediate family, Christmas Eve was for the entire family.

As we stick with the John prologue, let’s keep this idea of family in mind.

You will recall that yesterday we spent some time in silence, breathing in the fact that our Jesus is also the Lord above and before all things. No problem is too big or overwhelming for Him. He has literally seen it all.

Today, let’s let our eyes head down to John 1:10-13.

“He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.”

I love the simplicity of John’s language while at the same time being so incredibly deep. He has already established Jesus as the creator of all things, in very essence God, and here he reminds us of this again. The world…the cosmos…all that ever has been and ever was…it was made through Jesus. Hallelujah!

Yet, John places that phrase between two very interesting phrases. First, as mentioned in verse 9, this Word had come to live among us. The news of the coming creator should have brought joy to all of creation. But that isn’t what happened.

“…the world did not recognize him.” How? How could they not see His glory? How could they not understand? How could they not believe?

And John goes on. “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.”

The King returned to His land, but the hired hands, the servants of the land, those who themselves had no legal right to claim the land, rejected the King and threw Him out.

You might think that is the end of the story, but this is just the beginning of John’s gospel. Rejection isn’t the end.

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name…”

Before we move on from that, can you imagine back to the first time you heard these words? Think about the first time the earliest believers read these words. Can you sense the anticipation? The readers said, “What, John? What happened to those who believed?” They all were eager to know the rest of the story, and we should be as well.

“…he gave the right to become children of God.”

Just as we did yesterday, take a moment to let that amazing truth sink into your heart and let it penetrate your soul.

We believe in Jesus, and what does He do in return? He makes us children of the Most High.

Picture yourself at that house. Just as you would see yourself on a Christmas Eve with your family, think about Christmas Eve in your Father’s mansion. Imagine the food and the gifts. Imagine the music and the joy. Can you picture the decorations? Can you sense the excitement?

As you look around the room, you see brothers and sisters, some you have known your whole life, and others you have never seen before but somehow have always loved. This is your family. This is the family of God.

Because of the gift of Jesus, we are a part of this family. We are siblings with John, Mary Magdalene, Andrew, Simeon, and Anna. The Jesus who they called their older brother is ours as well.

So as you prepare to spend time with family, whether that brings about warm memories or trying moments, think through your larger family and how, thanks to the birth of our Savior, we are now children of God.

Praise God for this truth and worship Him today.

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