Full Text for And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us... (Text)

And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us . It means, of course, that Jesus, the eternal Word of God, came down to earth and assumed human form. Became a man of real flesh and blood like you and me. That He was born an infant of a virgin in a place meant for the housing of beasts, not babies. That He nursed at His mother's breast. That He grew up as our children do. That He took His first steps and spoke His first word. That He stretched into teenage years and strode into manhood. That He got broken nails and hard callouses. That He lived among people like us up to and through Calvary until His ascension into heaven. The LVord was made flesh and dwelt among us. I guess we take that for granted every Christmas season. That He dwelt anlong us. But, as someone has suggested, what might have happened should He have disappeared soon after He was born? If He had returned to heaven with the choirs of holy angels that first Christmas night? Or what if the Word made flesh had withdrawn from the world of common man and lived the life of a recluse in complete detachment from life and the world and the problems of ordinary human beings? Then, of course, not much would have have happened. To say the least we ~vould not have had a "Savior-man'' with whom IYC could identify and who was identified so closely with US. \17h0 knew definitively all that sin and time and death could do to us. But that didn't happen, thanks be to God! The Word dwelt among us. He became real flesh and lived among men. And the men with whom He lived were just like us, human, altogether sin- fully human. It was with them the Word ate and drank and prayed and cried and worked and spoke. He watched them casting out their nets for a draught of fish. Sowing seed, pruning vines, shepherding flocks, buying and selling, marrying and giving in marriage. He noted their simple joys and their heartbreaking sorrows. He watched the children playing wedding and funeral in the marketplace. He knew the travail of a woman in labor and the joy that filled her heart when a child was born into the world. He met and healed people who suffered from revolting and disgusting diseases. He talked with the social outcasts who could never call anyone friend. He GdiITed little children. He touched the blue and icy hands of a corpse. He comforted the mourners. And He wept. What is more, the Word that became flesh never remained detached or aloof from any of the experiences of the people among whom He dwelt. He participated in all the affairs of men. He helped all kinds of people and blessed little children and soothed the hearts of the bereaved. He revealed to people the mysteries and the glories of the Kingdom of God. He taught men how to pray and for what to pray. He castigated the hypocrites. He broke into texs at the thoughts that caille with death of His friend, IJazarus, and at the contempla- tion of the fate of Jerusalenl. Ile healed every manner of disease. He raised the dead. I-Ic suffered ancl died the death of a cornillon criminal. Hc went tllrougll hell for all of us to redeem us from sin, and death, ancl hell; anct rose again to grant us His blessed presence forever. All that and more is included in the terse statement, "iind the M7ord was made flesh and dwelt ameng LIS . . ." Iienlenlber Dr. hilartin Luther saying, "Bchold God's Son lies in the manger, draws milk from His mother's breast, lies in bed, fetches the axe for His father, and wood and cheese and bread for 1-lis mother. When John leaned on the ,Master's bosom, He leaned on the bosolll of God. IYllen He and other disciples heard the Master's voice, they heard the voice of God." And tllc IYord which became flesh d~x!ells among us, too! Right here in this company of sinncr/saints. Right in His body, the Church, for His Church is made up of people lilte us. People upon ~vhom God has staked His claim in Holy Baptism. People like us, who by the power of the Spirit in the 1Vord believe I-Tim to be vic- torious Sai~ior and cverliving Lord. People like us who love and worship IIiin in the one-hundred-and-one .cvays we go about our daily tasks. The Word made flesh tallcs to us again tociay through the holy writings of the Scripture. Through each other, too, when we minister God's grace to each other and share our glorious faith in IIinl. Today ive sense His presence in every baptismi in every celebration of the eucharist, in every faithful preaching of the ii'ord, in every absolu- tion that conveys to the perlitent th6 grace of thc T_orcl Jcsus Christ anc'l thc love of the Father, the Father who for His Son's sake accepts 11s and forgives us 21nd loves us to the end. AncI that is precisely why thc Mforcl was made flesh . . . to die for our sins according to the Scriptures and or1 the tllircl day rise again. To grant people like us forgi\leness for every writhing si11. The Wort1 was made flesh that through the forgiveness of sins which He ~vrought for us with the shedding of IIis blood we lnight be free and clean ant1 holy and thankful again. The 1Vorct was n-ladc flesh ;~nd came into this ~vorld of sin as a baby, coming into this world ant1 into our lives in a rude and smelly stable. t3e came to Mary and Joseph, to the shepherds and the ii~ise men. And He comes to us again this Christmastide. He conles to us one by one, in the ordinary places of life and in ordinary times. Ancl He conles to people of high anti low degree, but He comes always in person. I-Ie is so close to His people, between them and among then1 and in them. Yes, the miracle of the birth of the Son of God is once again alive. And the Gospel of His love for us spreads and encircles the globe. \47e call Him, Imxnanuel, God with us! And He has freed US ai~d kept us from sin and we call Him Savior! He has released us from the slavery of our passions and we call Him Redeemer! He teaches us the love of the Father and we call Him Rabbi! And He And 7'lrc Word Wrrs Made Flesh 155 molds ancl ~nasters our lives and ir7e call Him I,orcl! He ~vall doctrinal reviewers.