As Dr. Brian Green of the Smithsonian Institute is quick to remind us “The Big Bang Theory does not tell us how the universe began. It tells us how it evolved.” As one of the basic rules of science declares that nothing can ever be created out of nothing - nothing exists in this universe we inhabit that is eternal except God. Therefore finding a source for the clump of matter a mere billionth of a billionth of a centimeter in size and for the inflation field requires a study of the eternal where human minds – without Divine Revelation – cannot go.
Though The Holy Bible is not a scientific journal – but only tells us what God wants us to know- I find it interesting that science shows the first thing manifested in Creation was light. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day - the first act of Creation. The Word of God and scientific study agree Creation began with light. Eternal God said, “Let there be light,” and there was temporal light - residual heat manifesting itself as a bath of photons (particals of light).
On this First Sunday of the Advent Season, God - Who centuries ago revealed through men who had absolutely no scientific knowledge the fact that first element manifested in creation was light – speaking through our Gospel text this morning answers the most basic questions about our creation and existence. In the beginning was The Word, and The Word was with God, and The Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In our text, we meet the Eternal Being through Whom all things were made.
Basically we human creatures cannot be separated from our word – we are defined by our word. If the words I speak are untrue, I am a liar. If the words I speak are true, I am an honest man. If a general can speak a command that sends his troops into battle, he is a man of power. If a boss’ policies are expressed through words that are ignored by one and all, he has a title without power.
With God, any separation between The Person and The Word is truly impossible. The great Scottish preacher, Arthur John Gossip, reminds us that "Always, from the beginningless beginning, there has been God. And always there has been another with Him, Who is to God what a person’s word and thought are to a person; through Whom God acts; and by Whom God expresses Himself. It is the The Word Who creates; and all things that exist were made by Him” - by the thought - by The Word of God. God is His Word and can even with an unspoken word create an entire universe and continue that creative process through countless centuries.
As Martin Luther explains it, God “from all eternity has a Word, a speech, a thought, or a conversation with Himself in His divine heart, unknown to angels and human beings. This is God’s Word. From eternity God’s Word was within God’s paternal heart, and through The Word God resolved to create and did create heaven and earth.”
After countless centuries of study, human minds can discover some of the means by which God enabled the universe to evolve – and I find their study fascinating – but to find out The Who and The Means of how the universe began, we have nowhere to turn but to The Word. The Word was and is with God, and The Word was and is God. The Word was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. It is not particularly miraculous that God created this marvelous universe – that is part of Who God is – God The Creator Creates.
The miracle is in what God does with His Creation – why God created the universe – why God created us.
In Him – in God, in The Word – was life, and The Life was The Light of men. People have created gods like Allah who is totally defined and related to by the omnipotence and transcendence his followers bestow upon him. The one true God cannot be separated from His Word because in that Word is God’s wondrous desire for relationship with us – with His creatures. He wants us to exist in His Own Image - to be enlightened – to know God and His Love for us and His overwhelming desire for relationship with us.
That is why The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
First we need The Creator’s Light – the God created and given Life that is The Light of all humanity - to shine brightly and illuminate our knowledge in the darkness of a world that often resists The Light.
We need God to give us that knowledge and even to make our relationship with God possible. And what miraculous extremes God goes to to provide that Light. The Word that created the entire universe and that rules over the entirety of it became flesh and dwelt among us. In the beginning was The Word, and The Word was and is with God, and The Word was and is God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. And The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. What a wondrous miracle! What Love!
Think about it! The Word became flesh and dwelt among us - God Himself came among us – not clothed in human flesh but as human flesh with all that implies.
Last Christmas, among what seemed like a houseful of presents, Guenther Tharp found a football, a baseball glove, several video games, and a puppy. The way his eyes lit up, you knew right away Guenther liked the puppy best. Each afternoon, he raced off the school bus and into his house as fast as his little legs would carry him. A quick change of clothes, some milk and cookies, and the boy and his puppy were off to explore backyards and woods.
Then one wintry day – as workmen worked in the Tharp’s attic - there was one of those unseasonably hot days. When they left an attic window open, the puppy, scampering out the window, worked his way to the highest peak of the roof where he froze with confusion and fear. There was nowhere to go any higher and he was afraid to climb back down the steeply banked roof.
Guenther and his parents spotted the puppy shaking and whimpering but appeared unable to help. For some time, they tried to coax the puppy over the most accessible part of the roof to safety, but they just couldn’t make the puppy understand.
Guenther sobbed, “I wish I could become a puppy. Then he’d understand me and I could help him.”
Think of it — becoming a puppy to help a puppy. Perhaps you are an excellent craftsman, but you give up those dexterous hands for the fumbling paws of a dog. Perhaps you have a golden voice with which to fill a room with song, but you give it up for the bark and growl of a dog.
An absurd thought! A human becoming a puppy to help a puppy! Utter nonsense! Not worth thinking about! Still we can gauge the differences between a human being and a puppy – but between God and human beings.
And yet, two thousand years ago, Jesus, though He was in the form of God – was and is God The Creator Himself - did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. God Himself came among us – not clothed in human flesh but as human flesh with all that implies. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
And when God became flesh and dwelt among us, what did God do? God showed His Love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ - God Who became flesh and dwelt among us – died for us (ROMANS 5:8) – suffered and died for us on that horrible cross. We have seen His Glory, Glory as of The only Son from The Father, full of Grace – and full of Truth.
In today’s culture, Truth – even God’s absolute Truth – is not a popular commodity in the darkness of a world where political correctness often trumps Truth and where mob violence and pontificating devoid of knowledge try to strong-arm Truth. Thank God, The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.
And what is the essence and foundation of that Truth – of that Divine Light that shines in the darkness and that the darkness is powerless to overcome?
The Truth is that God – Creator of the universe and everything in it – God – full of Grace - so loves the world – including you and me - that God gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
Jesus is THE WORD Who was in the beginning - THE WORD Who was with God (in the beginning) - THE WORD Who WAS GOD when there was no beginning - THE WORD Who BECAME FLESH AND DWELT AMONG US - is the creative, sustaining WORD Who came as a vulnerable flesh and blood human Christ to live among us, to suffer and die for us, and to save us from sin and death.. . THE WORD Who came so that we who have so little understanding of things eternal may live eternally with God... THE WORD Whose coming we celebrate and prepare for in this Advent Season.
THE PEACE OF GOD WHICH PASSES ALL HUMAN UNDERSTANDING KEEP YOUR HEARTS AND YOUR MINDS IN GOD’S WORD – OUR CRUFICIED AND RISEN LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS THE CHRIST. AMEN.
First Sunday In Advent
November 27, 2016
Dr. Kurt Borows
Pastor, Resurrection Lutheran Church, Catawba Island, Port Clinton, Ohio
ARTHUR JOHN GOSSIP (Exposition). THE INTERPRETER'S BIBLE -VOLUME VIII. Abingdon Press. New York. 1952. Page 466.
LUTHER'S WORKS - VOLUME 22 - SERMONS ON THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN CHAPTERS 1--4. Edited by Jaroslav Pelikan. Concordia Publishing House. st. Louis. 1957. Page 9.