The Word became flesh, residing among us, and we perceived his glory, the glory as the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
I sometimes think I devour books and the best times are when I can simply curl up and read. As a child I never minded being sent to my room, because no one would tell me that I might strain my eyes if I read any more. I have my favourite books that I go back to time and time again, books that bring me comfort or stir my imagination, just like they used to as a child. Of course, re-reading a book is never quite the same as coming to it fresh for the first time, not least because now I know the ending and who survived and who did not. Now I pick up on the little things that I may have missed first or second or even third time round.
With the Christmas message, and indeed the Bible as a whole, that is especially so. Yes. We have heard it before, but whether it is the story of Moses and the burning bush, David and Goliath, Daniel in the lions’ den, Jonah and the whale, Zaccaeus climbing his tree, Saul on the road to Damascus, or Jesus lying in a manger, we will find, if we look deeper that there is always something more to be discovered and new insights to be teased out, as details we may have overlooked before, suddenly leap out at us from the page. Why? Because this story is not confined to the written word but concerns the Word made flesh. It speaks not simply of what happened once, 2000 plus years ago, but of what is happening now; not just of what God did in the past but what God continues to do here and now. The one, who was born in Bethlehem, can be born in you too and what was good news for some is good news for everyone.
As John reminds us, the story of Jesus is special for if we respond and receive, it is also our story.