Faith Becomes Real

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 were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:1-5, 14

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This fireweed provides a signal for winter in Alaska. When the blooms are all gone and the top of the plant turns white, winter will begin – according to our Alaskan tour guides.

As I read John 1 this morning, it strikes me that God is not content to hold a thought, or merely conceptualize the truths about his being, but wishes to intersect with his creation and express his intention for us through his Son, Jesus Christ. God does not wish to be considered a mere theological construct, an invention of man, or even a needed reality for meaningful life. He wants to connect with us.

So God took on flesh. This God who created the universe, who is the light of men, who shines in the darkness, piercing even the darkest reaches of evil became a baby. This is a remarkable mystery. Why would God do this? How is it possible that God became a baby? More important, consider what he revealed about himself: for he is full of grace and truth.

God’s intentions toward us are good, rich in kindness and love, for all people, and centered in Jesus. And while he expresses his grace he does not abandon the truth about us or about himself. He will maintain his true identity, even as he takes on human flesh. He will not deny our true need nor the extent of his love. He will expose our sin even while forgiving us.

God makes all this real in Jesus, a real Savior for real people in real time. We are his creatures and he wants us to know him for real.

NOTE: We are encouraging people to take part in a 21 Day Challenge at St. John, in which people are to live as though they really believe the Good News of Jesus and want to express that faith, hope, and love in real ways. Each day we are to read a chapter of John’s gospel, by which we will have read the entire book in three weeks. Each day there are activities to begin and end the day, with the hope that people will engage with God’s word in a pointed manner. We have also been given the challenge to meditate this week on the seven “I am” statements of Jesus recorded in John’s gospel. 

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