Christmas: Illuminate the Season

Devotional

Illuminate the Beginning: The Word, the Light, and the Life


By Danny Saavedra


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“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it . . . The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”—John 1:1–5, 9–14 (NIV)


Did you know the Christmas story doesn’t begin when Gabriel visited Mary? It actually begins way before that . . . at the very beginning! That’s right, this story’s genesis is found in Genesis, all the way back to creation itself.


Genesis 1:1–3 (NIV, emphasis added) says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” 


Okay, so you may be asking yourself, “Where is the Christmas story in that passage?” Easy! It’s the first reference to the One Christmas is all about: Jesus! 


You see, John 1:1 (NIV, emphasis added) tells us, “In the beginning was the Word . . .” The Greek word here for Word is logos. The concept of logos is honestly kind of mind blowing. The simplest way to explain it is that logos is the reason behind something. The term basically describes a collection of things put together in thought and expressed in words. You see, ancient Greek thinkers and influencers were concerned with answering the biggest questions of reality. They wanted to find ultimate truth, purpose, and understanding behind everything. This is where logos came in. To the Greeks, logos was the universal reason found in all things giving life and meaning to the universe.


In Hebrew culture, this idea refers to the driving force of God’s creative activity and will. So, the logos is the reason behind all things, the driving force in their identity and purpose.


What does this have to do with Christmas? Well, the Word we read about in John 1 is talking about Jesus! Look at John 1:1–3 (NIV, emphasis added): “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” 


Jesus is the living embodiment of the Word of God. He’s God in the flesh. He’s the One who spoke the will of God into existence in the beginning (Genesis 1:1–2; Psalm 33:9; Hebrews 11:3). He’s the character, heart, will, and mind of God revealed to the world. He is, as the Jewish people believed, the driving force of God’s activity and will, giving identity and value to all things and, as the Greeks believed, the universal reason inherent in all things (John 1:3). He is the binding law that sustains all in existence (Colossians 1:15–17), giving purpose to all things. 


But it doesn’t stop there. John 1:14 (NIV) tells that the Word who holds the universe together and through whom all of creation came into being, “became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” This is what the Christmas season is all about. God became man! Why? Because, “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind” (John 1:4 NIV) and because He is the “true light that gives light to everyone” (John 1:9 NIV). 


Did you catch that? The One who said “Let there be light” came to bring light into our hearts and lives so that “whoever follows [Him] will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12 NIV).


Jesus is the light of the world, the light that created life, sustains life, and gives life to its absolute fullest (John 10:10). He came so “all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name” would “become children of God” (John 1:12 NIV). 


Tomorrow, we’ll find out why He had to come, but for now we can rejoice in the fact that Jesus, the One who made everything and gives identity to everything (the WORD) and the driving force of creation who gives purpose to all (the LIGHT) loves us so much that He made a way for us to go to heaven and spend eternity with Him, to experience a full and rich life here and now, and to find true belonging as part of His family (THE LIFE). 


LET THE LIGHT IN


The logos: That which gave life and meaning to the universe.


“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”—John 1:1 (NIV)


The Bible tells us that God is a personal God who gives meaning to all things. He loves and is deeply involved with His creation. As we get ready to celebrate Christmas, remember that Jesus came to Earth and “made His dwelling among us” (John 1:14 NIV) so that we could know God, have a relationship with Him, and find true meaning and purpose. 


LET THE LIGHT SHINE


Jesus came to the earth to be a light to our world. Today, tell someone how Jesus changed your life!