December 28, 2023 • Life for Leaders
Scripture — John 1:1-18 (NRSV)
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 came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
The Word became flesh and lived among us.
Save only for that which has no number and is called the Fool,
because mankind finds it folly till it is known. It is sovereign or it is nothing,
and if it is nothing then man was born dead.
(Charles Williams, The Greater Trumps)
And the Word became flesh
In the cold hours of the night just before dawn, silent by the window
In the swift touch of a long-loved hand
In the leaf-piles of the yard, watching the dog and the Christmas lights
In the long line at the pharmacy window
the cup of eggnog poured out in a warm corner
the poorly wrapped gift fastened with extra pieces of packing tape.
The Word lived among us
stopping by the gas station
practicing the choir anthem
logging onto the website.
And we have seen his glory
in candlelight and pews and manger scenes, yes
but also in grocery lists and homework schedules
crossword puzzles and coffee cups
And from his fullness we have all received
grace upon grace upon grace upon grace upon grace.
Where do you see Jesus?
I can’t pair anything with this scripture but this carol (you can read more about why here, and find Latin and English lyrics here.)
(Prayer for the First Sunday After Christmas Day in the Book of Common Prayer) Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the High Calling archive, hosted by the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: The Divine Trajectory.
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Jennifer Woodruff Tait (PhD, Duke University) is the editor of and frequent contributor to Life for Leaders. She is also the managing editor of Christian History magazine and web editor for the Theology of Work Project, and a priest in the Episcopal Church. She has written a book of poetry, Histories of Us. Jennifer lives in Berea, Kentucky, with her husband, Edwin, and their two daughters.
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