“One of these things is not like the others . . .”
The Classic Sesame Street Song still rings clearly in my head any time I experience something that JUST doesn’t seem to fit, something outside of the norm, something that, in the words of the song is, “doin’ it’s own thing.”
Thus, this anthem of non-conformity has become something of an ersatz Christmas carol for me, especially each time I’m charged with preaching the first chapter of John on or around Christmas time. “One of these kids is not the same,” indeed.
Where both Matthew’s Gospel and Luke’s Gospel – the two traditional narratives of Christmas – the ones that contain all of the figures in the manger scene – have their own reasons and ends, their stories are pretty much the kind that is to be expected. Jesus has a mother and father, he is born, people pay attention. Its everything that we’ve come to expect from a Christmas Story.
John’s point of view is somewhat different, though. For reasons that are beyond the scope of this blog post, John wants to take the story of Jesus back beyond the beginning of his ministry or even the beginning of his life, but to the beginning that was “in the beginning.” In doing so, John not only tells us something about the birth of Jesus, but says something about the (re)birth of God in Jesus.
John’s Christmas story is, therefore, a resurrection story, too. How cool is that?
Now it’s time to play our game.