John 1:14 "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."
How does the ordinary become extraordinary? What makes an everyday moment, miraculous?
Imagine the moments of reality. It was a season of taxes, census, and a pregnant wife surrounded by martial controversy, and yet it was all done in a moment. There were family expectations on top of church customs and a series of hectic moments that revealed our God is with us. EMMANUEL!
Have you been pondering or wondering about current events in your own life asking what does it all mean and will I ever catch a break?
Then this sermon is for you. Perhaps the Incarnate Immanuel is trying to draw near and reveal Himself to you in this moment in time.
It all happened in a moment, a most remarkable moment. As moments go, that one appeared no different than any other. If you could somehow pick it up off the timeline and examine it, it would look exactly like the ones that have passed while you have read these words. It came and it went. It was preceded and succeeded by others just like it. It was one of the countless moments that have marked time since eternity became measurable.
But in reality, that particular moment was like none other. For through that segment of time a spectacular thing occurred. God became a man. While the creatures of earth walked unaware, Divinity arrived. Heaven opened and placed its most precious one in a human womb.
The omnipotent, in one instant, made himself breakable. He who had been spirit became vulnerable flesh. He who was larger than the universe became an embryo. And he who sustains the world with a word chose the nourishment of a mother. Holiness was sleeping in a womb. The creator of life was being created. God was given eyebrows, elbows, two kidneys, and a spleen. He became human. God came near!
He came, not as a flash of light or as an unapproachable conqueror, but as one whose first cries were heard by a girl and a sleepy carpenter. The hands that first held him were unmanicured, calloused, and dirty. No silk. No ivory. No hype. No party. No hoopla. Were it not for the shepherds, there would not have been a reception. And were it not for a group of star-gazers, there would have been no gifts.
Angels watched as Mary changed God's diaper. The universe watched with wonder as The Almighty learned to walk. Children played in the street with him. Jesus lived in the moment. He grew like other children and dwelled among men. He was, while completely divine, completely human. He felt everything humans feel.
To think of Jesus in such a light is - well, it seems almost irreverent, doesn't it? It's not something we like to do; it's uncomfortable. It's much easier to keep the humanity out of the incarnation. Clean the manure from around the manger. Wipe the sweat out of his eyes. He's easier to stomach that way. There is something about keeping him divine that keeps him distant, packaged, and predictable. It keeps Him out of the moment. It removes him from the moment and out of touch with our reality.
But don't do it. For heaven's sake, don't. For your own sake, don't! Let him be as human as he intended to be. Let him into the mire and muck of our world. For only if we let him in can he pull us out. Listen to Him as He lives from moment to moment. Watch as He grows in stature, wisdom and in favor with God and men.
Let him who has an ear to hear what the spirit says: "Love your neighbor" was spoken by a man whose neighbors tried to kill him. "Pray for those who persecute you" came from the lips that would soon be asking God to forgive his murderers. "I am with you always" are the words of a God who in one instant did the impossible to make it all possible for you and me. It all happened in a moment. It was one of the most remarkable moments in time. The Word became flesh.
There will be another. The world will see another instantaneous transformation. You see, in becoming man, God made it possible for man to see God. When Jesus went home he left the back door open. As a result, "we shall all be changed - in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye."
The first moment of transformation went unnoticed by the world. But you can bet your sweet petunia that the second one won't. The next time you use the phrase "just a moment" remember that's all the time it will take to change this world.
So, my friends live in the moment and let God who became flesh turn your ordinary day into a divine moment. Luke 2:11 "for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Come and behold Him! Amen.
("From the Pulpit" is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)