The View from Above
27 December 2017
On first glance today’s readings appear to have little to do with the Christmas Season – for Christians, of course, Christmas is a season of rejoicing not a single day – but on closer examination, the readings show us why the Nativity matters so much.
It is the feast of St John the Evangelist, the disciple closest to Jesus and entrusted with the care of His Mother. In the Gospel of John, we recall the famous Prologue: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….” There is a similar lofty tone here in the First Letter of St John; Jesus is the Word, existing since the beginning who descended to us – and we have “seen and heard Him.” God exists in unapproachable light, but He came to us in the incarnation. John is a witness.
The Gospel passage again seems misplaced. Only two days after the ‘Christ Mass’ the Church has catapulted us 33 years forward to a burial, not a birth. However, it is in the (empty) tomb, that the real purpose of the Nativity is revealed. Jesus is not cold in the ground; He is alive. John is again a witness, and he believes. All the events align; the Incarnation, the Nativity, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, Christ’s Return. He who always was is alive forever, and if we join John in belief, we will join Jesus in eternity.