Rt. Rev. Louis Medgyesi's 2010 Christmas Message

Christmas Letter 2010

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory. glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." - {John 1:14 NASB}

The birth of Jesus the Christ is the central proof of the faith we profess in God's immeasurable love for humanity in that "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us." No doubt that the Apostle John thought of the Exodus account of God's presence leading and protecting the people of Israel in their 40 year desert wondering. And there is no doubt that John intentionally countered the widely held notion of the pagan world that the flesh is evil and only the spirit is good. The announcement that God descended to mankind in the flesh was not only revolutionary but also a revelation about God's determination to dwell in and among His people. "For this divine Being has become flesh, has put on a human nature: and He who from all eternity has dwelt with God and in God, has tabernacles among men, sharing their difficulties. Like Yahweh, dwelling in the desert with His wayward and impossible people all the long empty years which their foolishness brought upon them." {Interpreters Bible, vol. 8 p. 472}

There were three divine qualities of Jesus listed by John in the verse: grace, truth and glory. Theirs were not acquired through life and experience but are innate {inborn and/or inherent} characteristics of Jesus the Christ, the Son of God. The babe of Bethlehem came into the world with divine attributes that became apparent {manifest} in His life, work, death, and resurrection.

When we hear about God's grace towards us we automatically think of the undeserved love by which He sent Jesus Christ into the world "so that whoever believed upon Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." {John 3:16b} "The word grace emphasizes at one and the same time our helpless poverty and God's limitless kindness," {New Daily Study Bible, William Barclay, p. 77}. It also emphasizes the loveliness of God since grace also means charm. In the Christmas season with the festive lights, the joyous singing of carols in the worship service, the delight of gift exchanges, etc... we experience the charm and beauty that Jesus brings into our lives by transforming our attitudes, words, and actions. In the birth of Jesus we are truly immersed in His wonder and praise.

In John 14:6 Jesus rightfully claims to be "the way, the truth, and the life." For no one comes to God but through Him. When we study Jesus' teachings and look at His self-giving life we can say that God is truly like Him. In fact Jesus testifies that "the Father and I are one." {John 10:30} "Jesus did not come to talk about God; He came to show what God is like...{Ibid p.78} Jesus not only came to speak the truth but He is the personification of truth. Thus the birth of Jesus opened the way for mankind to have fellowship with God and be led by His Spirit in the ways of truth. Certainly the three kings {Magi} who presented their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh recognized in the Christ-child the personification of God's truth. Because He did not come with pomp and ceremony or with great ostentation {pretentious display} but with love and humility that truly meets human life in its greatest need.

Finally, John refers to Jesus' glory. At Christmas time we are able to envision the glory that surrounded the shepherds in the angelic heralding of Jesus' birth. But we can also see the glory of Christ in His works and miracles because "the life of Jesus Christ was and is a manifestation of glory." {Ibid p. 80} His glory is indeed strange and inexplicable to skeptics and unbelievers but a growing reality for those who believe upon and have fellowship with him.

So let us rejoice in the birth of our Savior and recognize in Him all the divine attributes of God shown through the splendor of love.

Merry Christmas, Louis Medgyesi - pastor

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