Monday, December 19

Advent 2011

"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 1:14).

             I was about seven years old when I first recall hearing this simple, beautiful Bible verse.  I was in a Sunday school class at Bull Street Baptist Church during the Advent season of 1957 and my teacher was a young woman named Mrs. Godshall (really and truly her name).  She was an excellent teacher and I enjoyed being in her class, but every now and then her lessons were over my head and this lesson was one of those.  My classmates and I listened as she carefully explained what "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" meant and why it was so important at Christmas to understand this verse.  I know she did her best to explain it so that our seven-year-old brains could comprehend, but I was lost.  It was too much to understand, but I knew it was important, so I remembered the verse.  All I could think was that Jesus came to us as a baby.

The next time I remember being intrigued by this verse, I was a seventeen-year-old senior looking forward to graduation.  This time the verse was part of our worship service and I was convinced that I understood the meaning of the verse and that it was very simple and straight forward.  The Word was the prophecies of Isaiah and the made flesh part was when Jesus was born to fulfill those promises.  It was my young and untried attempt to make scripture fit my growing faith.

As young married adults Reed and I tried a number of churches before we found First Baptist.  Our first visit was Christmas Eve 1980. Dr. Tom Austin was the minister and again the scripture was read.  Dr. Austin did not speak based on that scripture, but once more it struck me as being beautiful and meaningful.  Over the Christmas break I checked out a number of commentaries to see what others of faith had to say about this passage of scripture.  I was awed when I finally realized what a powerful message was in those words.

Isn't this what Christmas is all about?  That our all-powerful and all-knowing God sent himself in the form of a baby to be born, to grow and live with us, to teach us, to die for us, and to give us hope.  I am so glad that I could look back on my spiritual journey with this passage as I wrote this devotional.  I hope everyone who reads this will take some time to reflect on your journey with this magnificent scripture. We all need the opportunity to remember how we came to be where we are spiritually and I cannot think of a better time to do that than during Advent and Christmas.

- Barbara Creaser


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