In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
And the Word became flesh
and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only
Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1, 14)
Merry Christmas! One of the messages of Christmas is “God has spoken.” Through Jesus, the Word, God has communicated to us who He is. “Word” translates the Greek “logos,” which Greek philosophers used to describe “the impersonal force of reason that brings order to the universe.” What the philosophers got wrong is that the Logos not only brings order to the universe, the Logos created the universe and currently sustains the universe, and the Logos is anything but impersonal. The Logos is so personal He entered the universe He created as a Person, Jesus Christ. “Logos” is from the same root word as “logic.” Jesus is God’s logical word to us about who He is. Do you wonder what God is like? Look at Jesus. Read about His life. Study His words about Himself. The proof that Christianity is true is not an argument, but a Person.
The message of Christmas is “the Word became flesh.” The divine became human. The omnipresent God packaged Himself in the body of a frail, helpless infant. The all-powerful Creator of all made Himself so completely vulnerable that men nailed that frail body to a cross so He could die for the sins of all mankind.
Hebrews 2 reminds us that the God-Man, Jesus, shared in our humanity in every way. He understands what you are going through, because He has been there. Are you poor? So was He. Are you lonely? He was abandoned by those closest to Him. Are you misunderstood? Even His family didn’t “get” Him. You can trust that He knows how you feel.
You might say, “I tried that. I even prayed to God. And nothing happened!” Jesus knows how that feels, too. In the garden He asked the Father if it was possible if the cup of judgment He would experience on the cross could be removed, and the answer He received was “no.” On that cross, He experienced the feeling of being abandoned by God as He cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.” Jesus, the Word, knows exactly how you feel and He cares! He is Immanuel, “God with us.”
“With” is not just describing something spatial, in that He entered our world to be among the crowds, it also relational. He wants to be part of your life. In fact, He wants to BE your life. He can forgive you for all you have done and He can create a new you who will live forever in His glorious Kingdom.
Our family has had an eventful December that has filled our hearts with thanks to our God. We had the opportunity to attend the ceremony where Maria received her “starfish pin” which education majors at Arkansas Tech University receive upon graduation. And then we celebrated with Maria as she was awarded her diploma for graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. We are so proud of her and can’t wait to see what God does with the rest of her life!
A real treat for our entire family was Rebekah’s decision to fly to Arkansas from New Jersey to be part of this important milestone in Maria’s life. Special thanks needs to be given to her husband, Tim, for letting us borrow her for a week. What a blessing it was to have all our girls together once again. Here is a picture of them attending the Russellville Christmas parade.
While Rebekah was home, our family gathered at Victoria and Noah’s home as we celebrated Victoria’s birthday, Christmas, and every other holiday in 2022.
Our church had a potluck to welcome Rebekah home and honor Maria for her graduation.
Please join with us in thanking our gracious God for all of His blessings, especially our wonderful girls.
We also request your prayer for our family. Rebekah went home to find that Tim’s mother was hospitalized with a very serious illness. Please pray for her. After the graduation, Leah and Maria tested positive for COVID. Maria has since tested negative, while Leah still is experiencing a bad cough and congestion. Leah had already been battling two stubborn infections along with shingles. Please pray for her. A few days later, I decided to become a “team player” (Maria’s words) and tested positive myself. As I write this I am coughing. I also am experiencing COVID “brain fog,” which probably is the reason this newsletter is hard to understand (at least that’s my excuse). We all now have even more excuses to take naps, like the four hour one I enjoyed yesterday. While I was stuck at home, Maria found herself stuck at our mechanic with car problems, alone without my help. Please pray for us.
While we have need of your prayers, we are still incredibly mindful of the many blessings we have because the Word became flesh and made His home among us. I pray He feels at home in my life, in my family, and in my church. And I pray you experience the reality of Christ’s presence in your lives this blessed holiday season.
We pray for our friends and family. How can we pray for you? Please let me know. We love and appreciate you!
Brian Heinen 802 E 23rd Street Russellville, AR 72802 (479) 886-0765