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Sunday, 24 December 2017

December 24am, 2017

The Word - Advent IV

The Word – Advent 4

December 24, 2017

John 1:1-18


What are you waiting for?


Are you waiting for me to start preaching?  Are you waiting for the service to end?  Are you waiting for lunch?  Are you waiting for the Christmas Eve worship services?  Are you waiting to be with special people?  Are you waiting to open your presents?  Are you waiting for the Christmas celebration to be over?


Are you waiting for the next major snowstorm?  Are you waiting for the windfall created by that Tax Reform plan? Are you waiting for spring?  Are you waiting for next year’s football season?  Are you waiting for retirement?  Are you waiting for “The End”?


Advent is a time of waiting.  And in Advent we’re waiting for somethings we have even now but not yet completely.


We wait for hope.  Even as was we struggle with the darkness of life, we wait for hope to fill us so we can live without worry and fear.


We wait for peace.  The peace we wait for is called “shalom” in Hebrew.  It means completeness.  We wait for everything to be as God intends it to be.


We wait for joy.  Happiness is great but it disappears too quickly.  Joy comes from having everything we truly need and knowing it can never be taken away.


We wait for love.  We wait to know caring that is unconditional, complete and unending.


How can we endure our waiting? Just say the WORD.


The Gospel of John, the Good News of Jesus, begins at the beginning.  Jesus was there. Jesus was and is the Word. Jesus was part of the power of God’s creation.  Everything that exists comes into being with him and through him.


There is no Christmas story in John, just proclamation.  “The Word became flesh and lived among us.”  No manger, stable or shepherds but remarkable none the less.  The Word became one of us. 


The story continues throughout the Gospel.  The Word showed his power by teaching, preaching, healing, caring and sharing.  But he was not accepted.  He was rejected.  The powers of darkness seem to have their way.  And yet the darkness did not overcome life and light. Jesus was raised and he lives. It is through him we receive grace upon grace; the gift of forgiveness, the gift of eternal life and the gift of unending love.  We live with and in that promise.


And we have the promise of hope.  We will know life without worry or fear.


And we have the promise of peace. One day everyone and everything will be whole and complete.


And we have the promise of joy.  We will have all we truly need.


And we have the promise of love.  We will have the unconditional and unending care of God.


And because of the promises we know through the Word, peace, hope, joy and love can fill our hearts today.  And we can share peace, hope, joy and love with the world.


When we have a difficult time waiting, when we’re anxious and afraid or just impatient, we know what we can do. We can hear the Word.  We can say the Word.   The Word, of course, is JESUS. AMEN