"No, He Not From Around Here"
Scripture Reading — John 1:1-14
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. 6There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-- 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. 14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. —
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. John 1:14
When a team from a local congregation set out on their first mission trip, they started to get acquainted in the community. They met a young girl who spoke very little English. One of the team members asked her if she knew Jesus. The girl thought for a moment, repeated the name "Jesus," and then said, "No, he not from around here." Her face and her response has become imprinted on the hearts of that church as a potent reminder of God's call to spread the good news.
John reminds us that Jesus came into our world so that he would be "from around here." "The Word [Jesus] became flesh and made his dwelling among us," says John. Or, as Eugene Peterson rephrases this verse in The Message, "The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood."
Today Jesus still moves into our neighborhoods and communities through the presence of Christians. You and I are the hands and feet of Jesus. We want people to know that Jesus is "from around here" and that we are his ambassadors.
Many of the people you meet today will have no understanding of who Jesus is. They are virtual strangers to the Bible and to basic Christianity. They aren't strangers to you, however. And, through you, hopefully Jesus won't be a stranger either!
Lord Jesus, we want to be your presence today in the places where you have called us to live, work, and play. May people around us get to know you through us. Amen.