St Andrew Lutheran Church
  4420 Center Point Rd NE
  Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
  (319) 393-4021
  www.standrewlutheran.org
HAPPY NEW YEAR!

CHRISTMAS II

January 3, 2016
 
     "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.   From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.   The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."     John 1:14, 16-17

     Experiencing a post-holiday letdown is rather a common experience.  Popular culture, the instant connectedness that is part of our everyday lives, and traditions that we enjoy are strong on the buildup and anticipation side of Christmas, but the drop-off afterwards is quite abrupt.

     This weekend is designated as the second Sunday of Christmas, so in our Lutheran Christian tradition, we are still observing the season of Christmas.  We hear the unique, eloquent introduction of Christ into the world as written in the Gospel of John.  The other three Gospel writers have different approaches, and you might enjoy reading the first couple of chapters of Matthew, Mark, and Luke and notice both similarities and differences. 

     For instance, Matthew lists Jesus' genealogical background and is the only Gospel to give us the story of the wise men (and he never gives a number) and King Herod's determination to find this King of the Jews and eradicate him.  Mark begins with a short account of John the Baptist's preaching, the baptism of Jesus, and then follows Jesus' teaching and ministry.  In reading Luke, we find a carefully assembled account of Old Testament prophecies, the stories of angels appearing to Elizabeth and Mary and the familiar, detailed account of the birth of Christ. 

     Now we come back to John, which is described in the Lutheran Study Bible as a "spiritual account" of Jesus' life and teaching, rather than historical.  The beautiful, lyrical wording in which Jesus is described as the Word becoming flesh and living among us, not only filled with grace and truth, but giving grace to all has a psalm-like quality that is unique to the New Testament.  John tells us we receive "grace upon grace" because of Jesus.  Interestingly, the word grace never again appears in the Gospel of John, but the whole of the Gospel shows what grace upon grace looks like because of God's presence in Jesus.

     Upon hearing this beautifully worded Good News, rather than a post-holiday letdown, we are raised up by the assurance that God is with us, blessing us with everlasting grace and love.
 
Your friend in Christ,
Mary Rogers

 
Worship Times
Holy Communion
  Saturday 5:30 pm
  Sunday 9:30 am
 
Christian Education
  Youth 10:45 am  
  Adult 10:45 am
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