Associate Rector, Rebecca Tankersley Sermon by: The Rev. Rebecca Tankersley
Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration | Dallas, Texas
December 25, 2018
The Nativity of Our Lord

The Word Became Flesh


“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.”

In the name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.


Merry Christmas!

I am glad to be with you this morning. Christmas morning can be so full – of passing presents, sharing stockings, crowding kitchens, and feasting on fineries. Christmas morning is delightfully fun. E’en so, I’m glad we’ve gathered – glad we’ve stepped away from the hustle and bustle to pause and ponder a great mystery.

I am also glad for our reading from the Gospel of John. More than any other evangelist, he invites us to pause and ponder – to enter into the mystery of the Incarnation. I wish we had a Lectionary Year D in which we could wade deeply into John each week for a whole year. Instead, we read from John’s Gospel at particular times every year.

  • We can choose to read the prologue of John on Christmas Day and we always read the prologue on the first Sunday of Christmas;
  • We follow Jesus to the cross through John’s Gospel every year during Holy Week;
  • We read John’s account of the resurrection every Easter; and
  • During Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, and Easter, we regularly turn to John’s Gospel.

Notice the trend. When we are preparing for and celebrating the deepest mysteries of our faith – the Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection – and in the seasons preceding and following those celebrations – as we seek to discern what’s about to happen or what has happened, we turn to John.

Today is just such an occasion. We’ve gathered together “to hear again the message of the Angels, and in heart and mind to go … unto Bethlehem, to see the Babe lying in a manger.”