John 1:14-18 (NRSV)
14 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. 15 (John testified to him and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.'") 16 From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known.
In the 70's (the decade of my generation), Kris Kristofferson was the toast of Nashville. The success of compositions like, For the Good Times, Me and Bobby McGee, and Help me Make it Through the Night, launched Kristofferson into stardom. In 1973, he had his biggest hit with Why Me. With a title like that, there is a tendency to think the lyrics went like this:
Why me Lord?
What did I ever do to deserve this misfortune?
This tragedy, this pain? Why me?
Interestingly, Kristofferson went in a totally different direction. Here are some of the Lyrics he wrote:
Why me Lord?
What have I have done to deserve
Even one of the treasures I own?
Tell me, Lord.
What did I ever do that was worth love from you
Or the kindness you've shown?
Christians call it grace. Grace is something we don't deserve but we get it anyway. God's Son, Jesus, is the human expression of God's perfect grace available for all. Read again John's version of the Christmas story:
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 . . . from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
"Grace upon grace." The Gospel writer is trying to tell us that our God is an awesome God. The God that John gives us is not the angry or vengeful God that gets promoted by some. He is not the God who accepts some and rejects others. God is the God of infinite Grace. Grace that goes on forever and is greater than anything we can imagine. Think about it.