The first part of the passage for today goes like this: “And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us…” What, then, is the glory we have seen? The answer to this question embraces all that we have come to know and to believe about God, because of Incarnation of God’s Word, in Jesus Christ.
To understand this idea fully we must go to beginning of John’s Gospel. “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 to be through him and without him nothing came to be.” (John 1: 1-3) In these few words we are introduced to the One God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus is the Word of God, the Father, who was with God and who was God. It was this Word that God spoke bringing all things seen and unseen into being; from the totality of the universe to the smallest of subatomic particles. This Word encompasses the totality of God’s love. It is the primal ‘Yes,’ the ruah (breath/Spirit) of God that engendered all things and that enlivens all things then, now, and always. That Word affirms life and all that is good in it. In this Word is the power of salvation. It is in this Word that mankind is reconciled. That Word is the unconquerable power of Love. No word is greater. No word can contain the fullness of grace and truth, save the Word-made-flesh in Jesus.
John’s inspired insight here recognizes, and invites us to contemplate, the great mystery—that Jesus is that Word. The great mystery, the glory that we have seen is Jesus, the Incarnate Word of the Father. In Jesus, the Word of God has come to dwell among us. In Jesus, the Word of God came and ‘pitched his tent’ in our midst. He is no longer distant in time and space, but is, Emmanuel, God with us. Jesus is the visible manifestation of God who has chosen to be present to us in every way, even in suffering and death. Jesus is the Word of Love that is the very nature of God who is, was, and will always be the same. Jesus makes visible that nature of God to us in the flesh.
This is the great glory that we have seen and which remains with us today. Jesus is the visible, tangible presence of God’s love and fidelity for us. Jesus is the Word that encompasses all of creation. That Word that is great enough to engender all of creation and great enough let go of greatness and to enter into his creation, as a human being, like us, even unto death. In that Word, we encounter the glory of God in the form of a man. That Word, as we came to see in Jesus, expressed God’s love in the language of forgiveness. That Word has conquered sin and death, once and for all. It is the Word that opened the gates of Paradise to us once again. That word encompasses all grace and all truth.
Jesus is the life engendering and affirming Word of God. In him all grace and truth resides. Jesus, the Word of God, is the Way, the Truth, and the Life that gives our lives meaning and purpose. Without the Word of God we are lost. With it we are found.
Lord, let us see the truth of your Word with the eyes of John the Baptist. Let us, like John the Baptist, rid ourselves of all the things of this life that blind us from seeing the glory of God in you, Jesus. We pray to you in this Advent season once again, ‘Come, Word of God, pitch your tent in each of our hearts, so that we might grow silent in your presence and receive your grace and hear your truth.’ Our hearts cry out to you, O Word of God. Help us to humbly say yes to you in all that we say and do. We ask this in your most holy name, Jesus. Amen!
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