October 29, 2019 by Rev. Dr. Neal Presa
December 25: Isaiah 52:7-10; John 1:1-4
The Confession of 1967 says this about the Scriptures:
The one sufficient revelation of God is Jesus Christ, the Word of God incarnate, to whom the Holy Spirit bears unique and authoritative witness through the Holy Scriptures, which are received and obeyed as the word of God written. The Scriptures are not a witness among others, but the witness without parallel. The church has received the books of the Old and New Testaments as prophetic and apostolic testimony in which it hears the word of God and by which its faith and obedience are nourished and regulated. (§9.27)
Our confession affirms the centrality of Jesus Christ, of whom John 1:1-4 joins the entirety of the Scriptures in uniquely and authoritatively bearing witness in the power of the Holy Spirit to be God’s Word incarnate. When God speaks, powerful creativity and transformation happens. When God’s speech by the breath of the Spirit is embodied in the very flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, God’s true freedom is being expressed, interjecting into the darkness of the world, just as God’s voice at the emptiness of the formless void cracked open the darkness with light; at the summons of God, light comes. Jesus is that light. When God speaks, God is acting.
Israel, in the midst of their exile and captivity, needed the darkness-shattering word from God, the death-defying speech of God, to intrude. The destruction of Jerusalem will be no more, Israel’s remnants will be joined by the exiles to be restored. The presence of the Lord, which never really left, will be made more apparent as the salvation of His people come to fruition. The sentinels will sing for joy, the messengers of good news will proclaim, “Your God reigns.” (52:7c)
Every day should be Christmas Day because what the world desperately needs every single day is the word that matters, the word that shatters death, darkness, and desperation – the word that says God reigns, the speech that says the word is not letters, nor syllables.
The word that truly matters is the word who has come in the flesh, the Word, Jesus Christ, whose feet are beautiful because where he walks, he brings the good news of God. He is blessed, and we are transformed and restored as like Israel of old.
On this Christmas Day, let our giving, let our hearts, let our lives bear witness to the Word. May who we are as God’s redeemed, and what He has given to us, and what we do with what we have – may they “speak” a powerful testimony of God’s goodness and grace, not that we would get the credit, but that, as a witness, all that we have and all that we are would direct the attention of the world to Jesus Christ.