Jesus Christ is God’s complete expression of grace and truth. Jesus makes God known to us and to the world. The law is given through Moses, but we receive God’s grace and truth through Jesus. But many do not recognize Jesus, including “his own” people, his neighbors in Nazareth and the Pharisees, Sadducees, and high priests in Jerusalem.
Laws provide boundaries and rules that seek to control behavior and protect society. We can all acknowledge that societies need laws in order to function. Some law also shapes identity. The “Law of Moses” shapes the identity of the Jews. But the law does not reveal God to the people. John proclaims that the grace and truth that comes through Jesus Christ makes God known to us.
We live in an age that New York Times journalist Thomas Friedman calls “the Age of Accelerations.” Friedman describes how humans are losing the capacity to adapt to the pace of technological innovation and expanding information. One way to react is to tighten laws that have proven dependable in the past in order to protect identity and prevent change.
The struggle between the followers of the law and Jesus becomes a key theme of John’s Gospel, which concludes with Jesus’ resurrection. The resurrection proves the Jewish leaders wrong and implores Peter to demonstrate his love for Jesus by feeding and tending others. (See John 21:15-19.)
How do you feed and tend others in ways that demonstrate your love for Jesus and reveal the grace and truth of God to them? If Jesus is how God is made known to us, how do you now feed and tend to others in a world facing such difficult and complex challenges?
O God, may I see you so fully revealed in Jesus that I cannot help but strive to reveal you to others through my love. Lead me to others who need feeding and tending. Amen.
Jeremiah delivers happy news, a promise from the Lord of a brighter future day. God will bring back the scattered peoples to their homeland, and their mourning will turn into joy. The psalmist encourages those in Jerusalem to praise God for all that God has done. God gives protection, peace, and the law to the children of Israel. The author of Ephesians encourages readers with confidence in God’s eternal plan. God’s will is to send Christ and adopt us into God’s family. We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit. The opening to John helps us understand the eternal scope of God’s plan. From the beginning, the Word has been with God but then becomes flesh and lives among us to reveal divine glory.
Read Jeremiah 31:7-14. How do you continue to celebrate God’s goodness, even if the Christmas season has been difficult for you?
Read Psalm 147:12-20. What is your doxology—your command and faith claim—today?
Read Ephesians 1:3-14. Consider the author’s question, Who makes up your family? Do you define your family by looking back to your heritage or looking forward to your legacy and future generations’ inheritance?
Read John 1:1-18. What does it mean for you that Jesus is cocreator in the beginning and takes on human life and suffering as Emmanuel?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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