The Glory Has Departed
Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence
Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
The Virgin Birth of Jesus draws us to the Savior because of His humble circumstances, but the miraculous arrival of the promised Messiah points to His divinity as well. No person in history was both God and man, born of a woman and yet conceived by the Holy Spirit. The pagans often wrote about god-like men and women, but no one thought of them as real, historical persons. Jesus lived and walked among us. God became man. Jesus is still both God and man.
The Bible teaches us that the Son of God has always existed. The Gospel of John starts with the same words as Genesis—In the beginning—reminding us that the Son of God has always existed and was the creating Word in Genesis.
1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God.
Think of a great church bell calling people to worship. The three-fold tolling of the bell—
The Word—reminds us that the Son of God is a member of the Holy
In the beginning was The Word And The Word was with God, And The Word was God.
The Word, the Word, the Word. The majestic opening of John’s Gospel teaches us that the Son of God existed from the beginning, that He was with God the Father, and that He was God.
The divinity and the pre-existence of Christ are under attack from many sides. Anti-Christian cults like the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the Trinity and the divinity of Christ. Liberal religious leaders deny the Virgin Birth of Christ. The Bible is perfectly clear about Jesus being the eternal Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary.
The opening of John’s Gospel directs us to Genesis and to Creation by the Word:
1:3 All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.
One little girl understood this better than most adults. She pointed at the stars in the sky at night and said, “See Mommy, Jesus made all the stars!” There is nothing in this universe we can see or touch that is not from Jesus, the creating Word.
The eternal Son of God is the creating Word in Genesis, when God commanded, And God said:
1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst
of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
People seldom think about the meaning of this passage – Jesus created everything we enjoy, from the plants and animals of this beautiful planet to the milky expanse of stars in the sky. The little girl who pointed at the evening sky and said, “Look, Mommy. Jesus made the stars” helps explain why those who believe in Creation have such a great appreciation for all forms of life: the unborn child, the birds flocking to the feeder during a winter blizzard, the flowers blooming in a well kept garden.
O Word of God Incarnate,
O Wisdom from on high,
O Truth unchanged, unchanging,
O Light of our dark sky – We praise Thee for the radiance
That from the hallowed page, A lantern to our footsteps, Shines on from age to age.
The Church from her dear Master
Received the gift divine, And still that light she lifteth O’er all the earth to shine.
It is the golden casket
Where gems of truth are stored;
It is the heaven drawn picture
Of Christ the living Word.
Posted by Gregory Jackson at 4:13 AM