The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. – John 1:9-13
Which are you? Optimist or pessimist? Half full or half empty? Hopeful or holding fast to the brutal facts? Melancholy or manic? Glad 2020 is now over or hopeful for what 2021 will bring? Saint or sinner?
Most of us will admit to struggling with keeping the proper balance with both dynamics. We never outgrow the need of the savior. But we are new creations in Christ Jesus. This is a paradox. Paul says it this way:
For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. – Galatians 5:17
That’s why we must repent daily. “The old person in us with all sins and evil desires must be drowned and die through daily sorrow for sin and through repentance, and on the other hand daily a new person is to come forth and rise up to live before God in righteousness and purity forever (based on Martin Luther’s Small Catechism, The Purpose of Baptism).
Jesus shines the light of grace and truth into our hearts. And in doing that, our need for his grace becomes ever more clear. But so does our new identity as children of God. It’s a work of God’s Spirit. And it needs to happen again and again. Every day. Every Day we must reject the ways of sin, and reclaim our identity as children of God. And that needs to happen again and again. Daily. Not just once a year.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 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 bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son[d] from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side,[g] he has made him known. – John 1:1-18