“The Church is... where the Lord is acknowledged, and where the Word is.” - The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine §242
Kempton New Church

Christmas 2018

THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH

And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

One of the main reasons the Lord wanted to be born into the world was to show us how to live according to His Word. “I have given you an example, that as I have done to you, you also should do.” (John 13:15)

In His life and teaching, He shows us the true meaning of the Old Testament Word. He encourages us, saying that we too can live by His Word. We can repent of our sins and grow in wisdom and in genuine love, love to Him and toward our neighbors. He gave us what we know as the Golden Rule, for example, saying, “All things whatever you want men to do for you, you should also do for them; for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

At the time when Jesus was born, the leaders of a fallen church had made the Word of no effect by their traditions. We human beings tend to think there must be an easier way to find salvation than by following the Lord’s Word; we invent excuses and twist the Lord’s teachings to make them seem to mean something other than what they really do.

So the Lord came to earth to restore access to the wisdom and love revealed in His Word. His Sermon on the Mount illustrates this: “You have heard that it was said to the ancients, Thou shalt not murder…. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother rashly is in danger of the judgment…. First be reconciled to your brother….” (Matthew 5:21-24). Jesus was opening up and deepening our understanding of His Word and how to live by it.

In the approach to Christmas, a time when we tend to make too much of things like shopping, and we eat and drink too much and get too little sleep—to the point that we lose track of the spirit of Christmas—let us remember that the Lord made the Word flesh. He brought it down to earth. He lived the Word in every aspect of His life.

The Lord is eager to help us in all aspects of our life too. This means that as weak and foolish as we often are, we can still make progress. We can follow simple teachings from His Word, such as the Golden Rule, as a guiding star. The Lord will help us incorporate the Word into ourselves in our finite way, following His example as the Word made flesh, the Word in Person.

Happy Christmas!

Rev. Lawson M. Smith

You are warmly invited to a Nativity play on Sunday, December 17, at 4:30 and 6:00 P.M. The script, read by the pastor, will be the Christmas stories from the Gospels. They will be reverently presented by people in costume, in a manner suitable for children as well as adults.