"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."
His Grace Saves Us
"The Word was made flesh"
immediately evokes images of the Christmas story
and a tiny babe wrapped in swaddling clothes.
"And dwelt among us" reflects the great
tabernacle in the midst of the tents of the
children of Israel as they moved from oasis to
oasis in the Sinai Desert.
"God's house among our houses! We see it each
day in cities and towns. On a quiet street a
clapboard church shares a place with the homes
of working families. An ancient brick church
stands between towering skyscrapers. A cathedral
thrusts its spire heavenward. Each gives its
silent testimony to God who dwells among us in
Word and sacraments. He lives among ordinary
people going about their ordinary lives. Jesus,
the Word made flesh, is part of birth and death,
part of the lives of business-people, farmers,
homemakers, students, and children. He listens
to our prayers, rejoices in our laughter, and
shares our tears.
The churches stand in the heart of our cities,
in town squares, on suburban streets, and on
country lanes. Each church building testifies to
God who through His Son, our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ, dwells in our midst, sharing the
lives of His people.
Miracles, Signs and Wonders? The greatest
miracle of all is that miracle of love that God
forgives us for Jesus' sake. By the power of the
Holy Spirit, we see them! We live them!
"By whom also we have access by faith into
this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope
of the glory of God." Romans 5:2
Have you ever felt depressed, desolate, on the
verge of despair because of some wrong you have
done? A deliberate lie? A deliberate sin? Did
you feel guilty before God? If so, that was a
condemning message of God's Law. His Law demands
perfection; it passes judgment.
"For the law was given by Moses, but grace
and truth came by Jesus Christ." John 1:17
"Moreover the law entered, that the offense
might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did
much more abound." Romans 5:20
On the other hand, did you ever feel free as a
bird, completely at peace with God, fully
forgiven through faith in Christ, consciously
living in His grace? That is because you have
heard and believe the message of His Gospel.
"And of his fullness have all we received,
and grace for grace." John 1:16
"Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy
lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever."
"As any man hath received the gift, even so
minister the same one to another, as good
stewards of the manifold grace of God."
Our Lord challenges us as good stewards to use
our gifts to make disciples of all nations. It
is an awesome task, but we also have help from
an awesome God, whose Son died that we might
live, paying the price that we might have
forgiveness. The awesomeness of God's power
translates into saving love.
"For they shall be an ornament of grace unto
thy head, and chains about thy neck."
"Chains about thy neck" indicates an adornment
or thing of beauty in one's life.
"So shall they be life unto thy soul, and
grace to thy neck." Proverbs 3:22
"And with great power gave the apostles
witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus:
and great grace was upon them all." Acts
"Who, (Barnabas) when he came, and had seen
the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them
all, that with purpose of heart they would
cleave unto the Lord." Acts 11:23
"Long time therefore abode they speaking
boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto
the word of his grace, and granted signs and
wonders to be done by their hands."
Unmerited favor is bestowed through REDEMPTION ~
"For all have sinned, and come short of the
glory of God; Being justified freely by his
grace through the redemption that is in Christ
Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a
propitiation through faith in his blood, to
declare his righteousness for the remission of
sins that are past, through the forbearance of
God." Romans 3:23-25
A commentary on the use of God's gifts to us is
provided by the story of the small boy who
scraped together enough coins to buy a fine pair
of gloves for his mother's birthday. Weeks later
he noticed his mother's still chapped hands and
asked why she wasn't wearing the gloves. She
said she was so thankful for them that she was
saving them. His noteworthy response: "But, Mom,
you thank me best when you wear them!" How very
true also of the special gifts God has given to
"Having then gifts differing according to the
grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let
us prophesy according to the proportion of
faith." Romans 12:6
Prayer: Be with us, Lord Jesus, and bless us
with Your grace and truth as we come and go.
Thank you for the gifts you have given us ~
please help us use them in service of You, our
Lord Jesus, for His sake. Amen.