The third day of Christmas, 27th December, apart from its association with ‘three French hens’ in the popular song ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’, is devoted by the Church to St John the Evangelist, the ‘disciple whom Jesus loved‘ and the writer of the fourth gospel. The opening of this gospel provides the ninth ‘lesson’ in the service of nine lessons and carols, and is a fitting ‘lesson’ on the significance of Christ‘s Coming, contrasting with the narratives of Matthew and Luke which precede it.
Ninth lesson: John 1, vv1-14:
‘Before the world was created, the Word already existed; he was with God, and he was the same as God. Through him God made all things; not one thing in all creation was made without him. The Word was the source of life, and this source of life, and this life brought life to mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.
‘God sent his messenger, a man named John, who came to tell people about the light, so that all should hear the message and believe. He himself was not the light; he came to tell about the light. This was the real light – the light that comes into the world and shines on all mankind.
‘The Word was in the world, and though God made the world through him, yet the world did not recognise him. Some, however, did receive him and believed in him; so he gave them the right to become God’s children. They did not become God’s children by natural means, that is, by being born as the children of a human father; God himself was their Father.
‘The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father‘s only son.’
- Jesus the Christ (woundedbirdnomore.wordpress.com)
- Setting Out into the Dark with God: A Christmas Meditation (cruciality.wordpress.com)
- David Cameron cites Gospel of John in Christmas message (guardian.co.uk)