Back in 2008 or so, Kim and I decided that we wanted to make our own advent ornament calendar – that we would carefully choose each symbol, write our own readings and, ambitiously, create each ornament out of clay. To be honest, lots of the ornaments look a little silly, but this tradition has been a treasure to our three girls since they were little.
Our ornament for December 1st is my favorite: λόγος, or “Word.” I don’t think an ornament shaped like a book does it justice, but it’s the best I could do.
Each December 1, as we read the first chapter of John together, I’m overwhelmed by the magnitude of John’s words. First, it is the eternality, omnipotence, and mysterious union with God that characterizes this λόγος:
The Word was with God, and the Word was God.… He was in the beginning…without him was not any thing made that was made.
And then it is the earthliness, the raw physicality, and the profound implications of this unexpected act:
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…we have seen his glory…No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
The Eternal Creator, now in the flesh of an infant. How can this be? The λόγος is with us. It’s staggering.
But the reality is that this miracle of miracles gets lost in the noise. As our kids hustle from car to class to class to activity to car to homework to activity to bed, we forget the awesome reality that the λόγος has come among us. As we fret about what our peers have said on social media, or flip through YouTube shorts in our failed attempts to relax, or as we numbly stare at the taillights in the parking lot that is I-90 westbound at 5:15pm, we, too, bury that joyful reality that God can be truly known in the midst of it.
But the reality is that this miracle of miracles gets lost in the noise.
For most of this first semester, our faculty have been praying diligently for revival in our student body – that our students would discover the undeniable reality that is the willingness of the λόγος to make Himself known. That our students would hear the Lord’s voice and listen. That they would joyfully seek and obey Him. In the first chapter of his first epistle, John again riffs on this same concept:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands…the life was made manifest….that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us.
If you are honest, do your kids earnestly look upon Jesus? Do they seek fellowship with Him? Are they convinced of – and do they participate in – the reality of His work in their lives and in the people around them? Has His Life been made manifest in them?
This is our earnest prayer for your kids. We have been praying that our Lower Schoolers will understand the reality of God in their lives in ways that their little minds and hearts can comprehend. We have been praying for our Middle and Upper School students as many have returned from Go! Week with profound experiences and new commitments. Will you pray with us this Christmas season for revival in their hearts? Will you pray with us that they are not only aware of God being with them but that they are convicted and inspired by the fact that it is God Himself who is with them, working in their lives?
This Christmas, join with me in remembering not just the historical miracle of the incarnation but also the profound and active work of God-in-the-world. May we, and our children, allow Him into our lives in such a way that we bear the fruit of His goodness and mercy in ever-increasing measure.