Second Sunday of Christmas – John 1:1-18
No one has ever seen God. But the one and only Son is himself God and is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us. (John 1:18, NLT)
If you’ve ever talked to a pastor about the process of preparing his or her sermons, you may have heard the word “exegesis” batted around. “Exegesis” is a Greek word that refers to the act of drawing meaning out of a text, and its opposite is a pitfall of preaching called ”eisegesis” or “reading into” a text. Exegetes – people who practice “exegesis” – encounter Scripture with the goal of hearing what God is saying through that text. Eisegetes, on the other hand, approach Scripture with the goal of importing meaning, making the text say what they want. Why does that matter? Because today’s reading from John expresses the conviction that Jesus “exegetes” God. That is, when we regard Jesus, the Son of God, we can read God like a book. There is no distinction between the God we encounter in Scripture and the God we encounter in the person of Jesus. In fact, God’s character is revealed for all to see in the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. As our celebration of Christmas draws toward its conclusion, let us give thanks for this great truth: that when you look at Jesus, what you see is who God is!
Almighty God, you have filled all the earth with the light of your incarnate Word. By your grace empower us to reflect your light in all that we do, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (From Evangelical Lutheran Worship, p. 21)
– Pr. Andrew Chavanak