What came into being through the Word was life, and the life was the light for all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn't extinguish the light... The Word became flesh and made his home among us. We have seen his glory, glory like that of [an] only son, full of grace and truth... From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace; as the Law was given through Moses, so grace and truth came into being through Jesus Christ. — John 1: 1-18
In the third verse of "Silent Night" we see how God gets "up close and personal" with us. In human form, God came to live and breathe, teach, and love. Therefore, we have seen "grace and truth" in the person of the Christ, and we have received "grace upon grace" as the book of John states. What is our response to that redeeming love given to us?
Well, as we are made in the image of God, we are called to nurture one another in "love's pure light!" You see, radiant beams from heaven above have enveloped us as it did for the composer of the beloved song. Imagine what our world would be like if "love's pure light" is at the center of life in the here and now?
For those who of us who come to this time of year searching with joyful anticipation that we will be blessed by that "pure light," we need to understand that love and grace go hand-in-hand and we are not only the recipients of both of those, but carriers of that into our world.
I like the way that Marcia McFee puts it when talking about God's pure light that redeems us in grace and love:
God's face in Jesus Christ has entered the world where it will be kissed by mother Mary, cradled in Joseph's rough carpenter-hands, and washed after the feeding and burping. This is real human life, full humanity wrapped around love's pure light that will shine in a way remembered ever since. It is a love that "redeems" us — makes good on God's promise to be with us always. Like a coupon that we get to redeem... only this one has no expiration date.
I hope you will join us this Sunday as the Choir presents the gift of music, Nativity Suites: A Cantata for Christmas.