Sermon Reflection from 12/29/19, Christmas Story-Telling Service

“In the Beginning Was the Word”
Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder

United Church of Strafford, Vermont
December 29, 2019    First Sunday of Christmas
John 1:1-5, 10-14

This concept came to me during the reading of the lesson from John at the Christmas Eve service this year, putting together the mystical, King James Version Logos poem with modern scientific cosmology and Christian contemplative theology.  I begin with a slightly edited version of the John passage and then take off from there.

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him;
and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of [all people].
And the light shineth in darkness;
and the darkness comprehended it not….
He was in the world, and the world was made by him,
and the world knew him not.
He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
But as many as received him,
to them gave he power to become
the [children] of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Which were born, not of blood,
nor of the will of the flesh,
nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,
and we beheld his glory,
the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,
full of grace and truth.
John 1:1-5, 10-14, King James Version

The universe explodes into being
and for the first trillionth of a second
things are very confusing,
and for the first twenty minutes things are very hot,
and for the first 50,000 years it is still too hot
for solid matter to amount to much,
but after 100,000 years the first molecule forms,
and after two hundred million years the first stars ignite,
and after a billion years the universe of today matures.
After five billion years our solar system starts to coalesce,
and after thirteen and a half billion years,
just two million years ago,
the first human-like species emerge on earth,
and only fifty thousand years ago, modern humans.
But from the very beginning, coming out of that first
trillionth of a second, patterns and laws existed
that shaped how the universe evolved.
In the beginning was this Word, this Logos,
this organizing principle, a mind,
a clear consciousness of how things should be,
and it was with God, and it was God.
All things were shaped by that Logos,
the Spirit that we call God, and without it
was not any thing made that was made.
In this Logos was life, a force of love and life and light,
and that spark shines within and through all things,
stars and galaxies, trillium and snow crystals,
human creativity and compassion
because humans, too, are born not of blood,
nor of the will of the flesh,
nor of the will of humans—
born not of self-invention,
nor of the work of machines,
nor of the will of corporations,
but of the consciousness that shaped the universe.
The Logos worked toward human existence
for billions of years, and for fifty-thousand years
it has been evolving us
according to its patterns and principles,
moving steadily toward the day when we will
recognize our oneness with it
and live at one with all its creation.
And yet when this Logos,
this conscious spirit of the universe,
took shape in one man’s heart and mind
two thousand years ago, it was in the world
and the world knew it not.
The light shined in our darkness
but the majority of the human world did not comprehend it
as the true essence of their own lives and all reality.
Some did see it, and still do, and by the power
of the light and word of love flowing through him,
they have at times been able to be their true selves,
living by the universal laws of love and life and light.
Because of him they beheld how
beautiful, good and glorious
the sacred way of God is, flowing through all things.
We celebrate at Christmas this truth
of who we are, who we are made to be,
which is to have the heart and mind of Christ,
to be the Word made flesh,
completely at one with and attuned to
the conscious intention of the universe.
We are celebrating that a man was born
who showed us how to follow that sacred way,
how to evolve and help society evolve
to save this tiny remote rare planet
that the Logos spent billions of years perfecting for us,
so that we become co-creators of the realm of God’s love
on earth, a world full of grace and truth,
wisdom and glory, for countless generations to come.
Those who believe and listen and look with their heart
hear the word, comprehend the Logos,
and in them is life, the life
that is the light of the children of God.
The light of hope, peace, joy.
The light of love.
The light of Christ.
The light shines in the darkness
and the darkness does not overcome it.

For a beautiful presentation of “The Journey of the Universe” go to this website:

You can watch a trailer for their award winning PBS video documentary here:

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