I've always been stopped in my tracks by these lyrics in John’s great poem: “He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born…of God.”
Faith provides a birth within us, a birth that grows into new life. As Martin Luther preached creatively in one of his Christmas sermons,
Christ takes our birth from us and absorbs it in his birth, and grants us his (birth), that in it we might become pure and holy, as it were our own, so that every Christian may rejoice and glory in Christ’s birth as much as if he had himself been born of Mary as was Christ… This is the only way in which Christ can be rightly known so that the conscience is satisfied and made to rejoice…This is what is meant by Isaiah 9:6, “Unto us a Child is born, unto us a son is given,” to us, to us, to us is born, and to us is given this child . . . See to it that you make this birth your own and that Christ be born in you.
That’s what the Gospel of John is inviting us to claim. When faith in Christ takes birth within us, it grows. Just like the Baby Jesus. Faith starts small, just as small as a mustard seed, but then it grows and grows until it takes over. As Christ is born within us, his love heals our crippled spirits. His peace swallows up our divisions. His justice grows until it overwhelms the unfairness of the world. His truth increases until all things are claimed by his grace. Which is to say: Jesus Christ is the Lord of all.
I wish you all all the joy that comes by welcoming Christ into your life. Cast your cares on him. Trust in him. Live in him. And let him live in you.