John 1: 1-18 (NIVUK)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 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.
15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, ‘This is the one I spoke about when I said, “He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.”’) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in the closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
‘Who do you think you are’ is a great television programme. It never fails to amaze me how caught up into the lives of our predecessors that the people on the programme become even if they are distant relatives. In and through that emotional journey we too become ‘caught up’ in their story. This is of course because it is real. We all have real stories of inheritance as well just as John who was Jesus’ cousin had a real story.
Verses 15-18 from today’s reading places the passage we normally read on Christmas morning (verses 1-14) into a human family context alongside that of the Godly one. Jesus' cousin John would proclaim who Jesus was as the ‘Son’ just as Jesus recognised his cousin as the one called and ordained to go before Him. What an amazing television programme that would have been made 2,000 years ago if we had been around and yet this is the aim of our text, to get us ‘caught up’ in the real story.
Abba Father, we pray that through your ministry of word and prayer that you will catch us up into a renewed vision of Jesus and that we might feel truly a part of the family of God in His Church either locally or within the Sanctuary First community. Amen.