And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
Let me extend a hearty Christmas greeting to all who are reading this “Word” series. I would like to share a few thoughts about the truth within the Christmas story. Many today still ask the skeptical question of Pontius Pilate: “What is truth?” (John 18:38). In the ordinary sense of the word, truth has to do with what is real, indicating faithfulness to what is actually the case. It is not something we make up. The primary way we express truth is in words. The words in our books and libraries store a vast array of facts about the world. If we did not know much of the truth about how the world works, the many complex achievements of science and technology that drive modern society would not be possible.
Words not only convey our knowledge about the world, but also our knowledge of God. The words of Scripture give us the truth about the things of God. The words of the Church’s creeds and doctrines express the truths of our faith. Yet somehow words are not enough. Words can be dry and lifeless. We must encounter the world in its full actuality. Jesus tells us “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6). In Jesus these beautiful words from Psalm 85:10 ring true: “Loving-kindness and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Jesus is the Word made flesh, who dwelt among us, disclosing the beauty, glory, grace, and goodness of God. To a follower of Jesus, truth is never just a set of dead facts to be believed, but a living reality to be encountered, the Person of Jesus Christ. This is the living Word that the Church is called to proclaim. We are to live the truth by walking in it according to the way of Jesus. By so doing, we will experience the reality of which Jesus’ spoke, “the truth will make you free” (John 8:32). May you will experience the freedom of God’s Word of Truth as you ponder the story of the first Christmas.
If you wish to be drawn further into the wonder of the Christmas story, see my post from Christmas 2017, “Can wonder ever end?”