The phrase ‘the word on the street is…’ tells us that there is a rumour, or piece of information, circulating. We might be surprised if people are saying we are pregnant, moved house or fallen out with a friend, when nothing of the sort has happened! We would want to put the truth across quickly and dispel the gossip.
More serious is the re-writing of history. This aims to erase historic events that are inconvenient truths: things that don’t fit with our regime or cause us to change our ways. Is the Christmas story any truer than ‘massaged’ history? There is a lot at stake, including the massive retail value of Christmas. We have reliable records about Jesus: history that has been examined in detail and stood the test of time. Grappling with the truth is the issue.
At our Carol services we read from John’s Gospel prologue. Let me quote two lines. First: ‘In the beginning was the word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning’ (John 1v1-2). It’s a deliberate echo of the opening of the Bible since Genesis, the first book, has a similar sentence to start. The point being that Jesus Christ is identified as having always existed. He was there when the world was formed. He was there well before it too. In fact, He is the eternal one who exists with God. This is proven by Jesus’ life that revealed him to be the Son of God.
Second: ‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth’ (John 1v14). This magnificent line tells us that the eternal Word took up residence among his people in the word made flesh. He became man – the word on the street! Here we see God in action, communicating directly with the world He made in order that we may have life in his name. No wonder we make such a fuss about Christmas! This is the reason for the season.
I hope that you have a merry Christmas and that you are able to join in with the celebrations we have planned.