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.
There is something about the Christmas season that makes us return to our childhood. Memories abound and we can see by the many movies that have been made that we want to relive our best moments and ache to undo the bad ones. Some people try to celebrate just like they used to and others strive to wipe away the visions of the past. We can spend our lives grieving over our losses this season too. Christmas plumbs the depths of our memory and we can be overwhelmed by it all.
The good news of our Gospel today is that we have been given the power to become children of God, remade and refashioned by love. No matter how perfect or imperfect our past or present might be, we are invited to let God healed and renew us, despite all the challenges. We are not left alone with our mistakes and memories but claimed by God who came among us so that we might receive grace upon grace, light in our darkness, and new birth in the heart of God.
Today I ask God to help me live as a child of God. May our spirits lift and not be bound by our weary flesh. May we see ourselves as God see us, as beautiful children, welcomed, wanted and loved. May we live expecting grace upon grace, healing and renewal. May we let go the sins of the past, forgiving ourselves and one another, throwing ourselves into the ready arms of God this day.
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.