A couple of nights ago, I watched “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” I’m sure I haven’t watched all 50 of them, but I haven’t missed many. They are included in our family’s Christmas memories. I always get goosebumps when Linus walks to center stage and recites Luke 2:4-16 (KJV). The gospels of Luke and Matthew contain what many Christians call The Christmas Story.
But there is another version in John’s gospel. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, NIV)
This part of John’s gospel is allied with the first part of Genesis. Both Genesis and John’s gospel tell of creation and God’s coming to earth. In Genesis 1:27, there is this familiar, yet astonishing, statement: “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” We are made in the image of God!
Then John expands the astonishment by saying that the Word, Jesus Christ, “became flesh” and lived on earth as we do! Jesus came to earth from God; every child comes from the same God!
Though the scripture from John’s gospel is not the traditional story of the birth of Christ, John takes Jesus’ birth (and every birth) to a deeper level. Birth is a vehicle for bringing God to earth. This happened when Jesus was born. This happens every time a child is born. New parents see a child made in God’s image — not divine as Jesus was — but still a child of God who has become flesh.
If you have the good fortune to be surrounded by children this Christmas, look at every child, and you will see God.