Thu, 26 December 2019
O beloved disciple of the Lord
who saw Him
and touched Him,
who believed in Him
with all your being,
who loved Him so
that no love but His
surpassed your own –
speak to us this day
of the Word of life
who has come among us,
died for us,
and been raised from the grave.
Continue to proclaim that love
which alone saves men from sin,
which alone banishes death from our midst;
let us share in your love for Jesus
and join you in proclaiming
Him who has come
in the joy you knew so well.
Point us to Him even this day,
that we too might see
Thu, 26 December 2019
(1Jn.1:1-4; Ps.97:1-2,5-6,11-12; Jn.20:2-8)
“He saw and believed.”
And “the eternal life that was present to the Father and became visible to us,” which John now proclaims, is Jesus Christ the only Son of God, risen from the dead and present to us now even as He sits with the Father.
John has seen Him. He has believed in Him. His “hands have touched” Him and so he “proclaim[s] the word of life” made so real in his midst. What else could he do but declare that which burns in his heart? What else could be the Evangelist’s desire but to share the blessing he has known as “the one Jesus loved”? For brimming with love this apostle is, and only in writing of this joy, only proclaiming it to the world and seeing others enter into such selfsame blessing will make his joy complete. To this he has been called by the Lord.
“Light dawns for the just,” David declares, as if in his psalm to presage the coming of Christ and John’s own words on the coming of Light to this earth. And indeed the just shall see Him, and gladness shall be “for the upright of heart.” For all the just shall “be glad in the Lord… and give thanks to His holy name,” for their souls drink deeply of the salvation in their midst; they know Him whom their hearts love. They see Him, and believe.
And I note the special significance “the piece of cloth which had covered the head” of Jesus – which was “not lying with the wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself,” as John tells us in his gospel – seems to have as a catalyst to belief. John had seen the wrappings before entering the tomb, but not this cloth, and it is when he enters he sees and believes. It is as if the Lord left it neatly rolled up in a place by itself to indicate to them that He had not “been taken from the tomb” by robbers, as Mary Magdalene (another beloved of Christ) seems to fear. Why would a thief take time to do such a thing? And so, Jesus’ touch is upon the cloth.
“All peoples see His glory” now, brothers and sisters. By the witness of John and all the apostles, eyes are opened to His presence. Let us see Him with John; let us touch Him… and let us know His touch upon our hearts, and so continue to proclaim His glory.
Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by James Kurt.
Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission.
O LORD, let us rejoice in the presence of your Christ
with us this day.
YHWH, let all men see your glory in the presence of your risen Son. Let all men come to that glory through faith in Him. Let us hear and believe what John tells us – that He has walked among us in the flesh, that the apostles’ hands have touched Him… that our hearts might be touched by His presence, and so your own.
With our eyes let us look upon your glory, LORD, we who are so blinded by sin and slow of heart to believe. Let us run to the tomb with your apostles that we may see your Son has been raised from the dead, that death no longer has dominion over us but with Him we have been raised. Let us rejoice at the light that dawns in our midst.
You are king over all the earth, LORD, and all the heavens proclaim your justice and your truth. May we join in the choir of your angels and your holy apostles in declaring your glory to the ends of the earth, that all men might be loved by you as was John.