On the Third Sunday of Advent, Ken Peters (pastor at Killarney MB Church) began his talk by asking what Advent was meaning to us this year (music, candles, darkness pierced by lights, children, food). He then sang for us individual lines from Christmas hymns and carols which declare Christ’s incarnation, words which are sung even by non-Christians as part of the societal culture in Canada. This social goodwill, however, may soon conclude (Seattle airport debate, etc.) That God was born a human being is fundamental to our faith and to the gospels. Ken then turned to John 1:1-14, noting that it is written so that it would resonate with the Jews (“In the beginning” is similar to Genesis 1, the God-centricity of 1:4 and 1:12-13 are all solidly grounded in Judaism). John was also writing to Hellenists, so in 1:1-13 he attempted to woo them through the familiar Greek concept of the ‘Logos’ and with the idea of light not being understood by everyone. Greeks also would have understood 1:13 (not entirely of human flesh). John was inviting both Jews and Hellenists to the Christmas banquet. However, 1:14 troubled the Greeks (how can the Logos possibly become flesh?) and the Jews (how can God become flesh?) John therefore needed to another 20 chapters to explain the idea encapsulated in 1:14, a verse on which Christianity rises or falls. In fact, the exclusivity of Christianity is offensive to non-Christians (and even to some Christians), and we should therefore expect that as the message truly gets out—that Jesus is the incarnate God and therefore the sole way/truth/life—this will not sit comfortably with our pluralistic secular society. [JEK]
No audio recording is available.