advent lettering

O Come All Ye Faithful

And Loves Us Still

Today's Reading

John 1:1-18

Merry Christmas!

For so many, there is something magical about Christmas morning. We have surprises awaiting us, as well as laughter and joy. It is almost like all things are made new as the dawn of Christmas breaks.

This sense of newness brings us to our final devotion for the Advent season and perhaps one of the most incredible verses in all of Scripture.

Throughout our time together, we have been preparing our hearts for this day. We have seen individuals encounter the Savior and their lives were forever changed. Mary became a mother. Matthew became a disciple. John saw the future. Augustine overcame his past. Paul changed his name, and Lewis changed his view.

In each encounter is the incredible truth found in verse 14 of John 1.

Let’s take some time to walk through these lines. First, we see that the Word…that which was before the dawn of time…became flesh. Literally, it means that Jesus decided to come down and set up camp along with us.

He became one of us. He didn’t merely use the drive through. He didn’t FaceTime us. He talked with us, laughed with us, cried with us. He loved us enough to live among us.

And it doesn’t end there. John goes on to talk about the glory of the One and Only, a glory that he has seen and would stake his life upon. He explains that this glory is from the Father in Heaven, not a sideshow type of glory, but a glory whose existence is owed to God.

But just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, John slips this simple yet life-changing phrase into the mix: “full of grace and truth.”

"Full of grace and truth.”

Have you stopped to ever think about that phrase? Imagine those two elements put together. Jesus, full of all truth. He knows all things and sees all things. As the woman at the well can attest, He sees to the depths of our hearts. Matthew could say the same thing, and what about the thief on the cross? Think about Augustine and his life of sin.

All could claim that Jesus knew exactly who they were. They couldn’t hide. The truth called them out.

But thanks be to God! It doesn’t end with just the truth. If we were left there, then we would have no hope and no future. Just like the characters in Narnia, we would be forever left in winter with no Christmas.

Yet Christmas comes this morning in the form of a baby in the manger, not only full of truth, but also grace.

The grace of the One and Only who looked beyond the Samaritan woman with five husbands and the live-in boyfriend. The grace looked beyond the persecution of the Church. The grace looked beyond failures, denials, and despair.

And that grace does the same for us this Christmas morning.

Jesus is well aware of who you are and brings the truth to bare. He knows your sin. He knows your envy and bitterness. He knows your failings and faults.

He knows how you lied a little to get your way. He knows how you padded your resume to get ahead. He knows that you lashed out in anger at your co-worker or child or spouse. He knows the struggles that you have every day to just get out of bed, or the struggles that you have to keep your mind from pollution.

He knows all of this…and…He still offers you grace.

Why? Why in the world would He do this?

Because He is the One and Only from the Father. He is the Word made flesh. He is the one who is called Emmanuel. He is the Savior of the World!

He is the Alpha and Omega, and every morning, He offers us grace after grace with no end.

This Christmas morning, will you acknowledge the truth and receive His grace?

If so, then let us all join in song!

O, come, all ye faithful, joyful, and triumphant! O, come, ye, o come, ye, to Bethlehem. Come and behold Him, born the King of Angels.

O, come, let us adore Him. O, come let us adore Him! O, come let us adore Him—Christ the Lord!

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