Keeping Christmas, day nine

Another reflection on John 1, this time from the StillSpeaking Daily Devotional:

The Word Became Flesh

Excerpt from John 1: 10 – 18

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.”

Reflection by Anthony B. Robinson

In Wendell Berry’s novel, Jayber Crow, the main character reflects on a favorite theme of preachers and teachers at the schools where he was sent as an orphan.

Everything bad was laid on the body, and everything good was credited to the soul. It scared me a little when I realized I saw it the other way around. If the soul and body were really divided, then it seemed to me that all the worst sins—hatred and anger and self-righteousness, even greed and lust— came from the soul. But these preachers I’m talking about all thought the soul could do no wrong, but always had its face washed and its pants on and was in agony over having to associate with flesh and the world. And yet these preachers believed in the resurrection of the body.

Far from being “in agony over having to associate with flesh and the world,” the Christmas story tells us that the Word was made flesh. Which means that here, in this world, amid its messiness and humanity, God has chosen to dwell and be revealed.

Sometimes we, like the preachers Jayber heard, imagine that being Christian means getting away from this world and from our mortal bodies to an imagined spiritual place or to a nipped-and-tucked reality. Yet while we were on the “up” escalator, God in Christ has passed us going down. Look for God in this world, amid its brokenness and beauty. That’s where God has chosen to dwell.


Emmanuel, Jesus, sometimes we try to out-spiritual you. But you do not call us out of this world but more deeply into it. Help me to follow you here. Amen.

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