We are now entering the church season of
Advent. Christmas time is here. We will sing carols, decorate our homes, and
anticipate the celebration of the coming of the Christ child into the world.
The four gospels are mixed in how they
represent the coming. Matthew and Luke bring us detailed accounts of the birth
of the savior. Mark and John don’t do that. They chose to emphasize the coming
of Jesus by giving us accounts of the pre‑existent Christ, and then pick up
Jesus’ ministry with his baptism and subsequent interactions with a wide
variety of people who later will become his followers. John begins with an
early Christian hymn:
the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God;
things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was
4. In him was life, and the life was the light
5. The light shines in the darkness, and the
darkness has not overcome it.
Mark begins his gospel this way:
beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
it is written in Isaiah the prophet, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before thy
face, who shall prepare thy way;
voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his
One of the ways to interpret this is a
recognition that before the Christ was a baby (the subject of an incarnation
that would change the world), He was there with God from the beginning of time.
While the birth stories take on a kind of announcement we celebrate every year
with good food, the laughter of children, presents and great anticipation, Mark
and John think it better to dwell on the fact that Jesus ‘always was’, and the
beginning of his ministry being introduced by John the Baptist is the proper
place to begin.
Either way, the richness of Christmas
time will always motivate and inspire us. A baby, of an unlikely birth, becomes
the Savior for each of us. Christmas is
truly a special time. No matter how you understand the gospels, each of us has
the opportunity to celebrate December in any manner we choose, and say,
– Dr. Rob
Advent Liturgical Colors: Purple or Blue
Christmas Liturgical Color: White
Psalm 72:1‑7, 18‑19
Psalm 80:1‑7, 17‑19
Hebrews 1:1‑4, (5‑12)