For Christmas Eve and Day, the lectionary offers two choices for the gospel. I usually use Luke’s account, the one most people know well, thanks to Christmas carols and cards and creches.
The other choice for the gospel on Christmas, which we will be using, is from what is known as the prologue to John’s gospel.* Usually, we use it on the first Sunday after Christmas. But this year that will be January 1st, the Feast of the Holy Name, a day with its own readings.
If we consider Matthew, Mark and Luke as “reporters” of the Good News, John is the “commentator” or “analyst”. John does some good reporting too. But taking on the role of theologian, he also helps us consider what the life of Jesus and his words mean. His prologue is one of his most powerful passages to do that.
I look forward to celebrating Christmas with you this year either on Christmas Eve at 9 pm (caroling begins at 8:15) or Christmas Day at 10 am. For those out of town, may your travels be safe. May all our reunions be times of joy and thanksgiving for another year of blessings. And may the inevitable challenges of the new year be overshadowed by the light of Christ, which came and still comes to dispel the darkness.
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.