Saint Mark Daily Advent Devotional – December 25, 2014

by Don Clarke

Scripture:  “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory…”  John 1:14a

Being a communication arts student in college meant a performance almost every day during my senior year.  For the very last presentation, I chose to do an interpretive reading of James Weldon Johnson’s poem, “Creation.”   The piece by this famous African-American poet begins with, “And God stepped out on space, And he looked around and said: ‘I’m lonely– I’ll make me a world.'”   In the poem Creator God is seen smiling, reaching out, flinging, hurling, walking around, kneeling down and bending over creation.

Out of desperation and in a bout with depression, Grammy-winning songwriter Julie Gold wrote “From A Distance.”  The song was recorded by such greats as Nanci Griffith and our beloved Bette Midler.  You’ll remember that Bette even recorded a special Christmas version of the song in 2006.  According to the lyrics, God looks at creation “from a distance” and sees harmony, hope, peace, and unity.   The chorus resounds, “God is watching us, God is watching us, God is watching us, from a distance.”

John the Gospel writer, dubbed as the disciple “whom Jesus loved,” places Jesus at the beginning of creation as one who “was the Word, was with God, and was God.”   The Creator of the Universe decides to “dwell with us.”   We have a God who chooses to be in our midst, present in the flesh, not sitting down and merely mulling over creation or remaining at a distance.  No, God moves toward us, takes on human flesh, and dwells among us!  The God of heaven becomes the Savior of the world.

On this most holy day, may we realize in a new way that God came to us with great intention to be present here on planet Earth.  It  is here that God, full of grace and truth, is seen being born in a stable, walking among us, teaching us, as well as performing signs and wonders before us.  Christ’s entire life, and even death, reveals his two natures to us – human yet divine.  He is indeed King of Heaven and Servant of All.

Prayer:   “O come to my heart, Lord Jesus, There is room in my heart for Thee.”   Amen.

Saint Mark United Methodist Church


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