And the Word was made flesh - reflection by Cate Jacobs at Open Table Carol Service #LGBTQIA+ #Comeasyouare


“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

So, may the love of God, soften our hearts and open our minds through the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ Amen.

And the word was made flesh……hmmm mmm for me, as a poet, the idea of the word made flesh fills me with the same kind of radiant warmth that I guess you may experience at the end of the service when the first mouthful of hot soup or mulled wine warms you up deep inside mmmm.

The idea that word can become flesh, and take on the form of a new born baby, makes my stomach flip over.

To look into a new born baby’s eye’s is to gaze at the wonder of creation; for in them, it seems, is all the knowledge of the universe, the answer to every question and every story ever told. Those eyes seem to contain it all and in the silence of the gaze between you and the child, love and awe, sits side by side.

I remember feeling like this when my children were born. Holding them in my arms looking into each other’s eyes as I fed them, I experienced the most profound sense of connection I’ve ever had with another human being, and here, lying in the manager ‘the word made flesh’ invites us to do the same with Him. For now, a tiny baby - but within Him the word, in fact, all the words he’ll ever need to tell all the stories he ever told, already dwell in Him.

Every child learns to speak from their primary carer, which is often but not always, their mother. It’s interesting that we refer to people’s first language as their mother tongue, Mary had to teach Jesus to speak.

I wonder what Jesus’ first words were? What his voice sounded like as a little child? What jokes did he tell, what songs did he sing? We don’t know – we only have accounts of some of the things he did and said. The rest is a mystery we can only guess at.

What we do know is that he will have learnt to speak in Aramaic. In Aramaic the opening of John’s gospel would’ve sounded something like this:

Beda she day ta we wayach miltah

Miltah does not just mean word – it means consciousness/expansion/manifestation. We are told in Luke’s gospel, that Mary became pregnant by the Holy Spirit, the words that would have been used to express this are Ruacha de headshe which are feminine words that we translate as Holy Spirit but which more accurately means ‘the all-embracing breath of God’ - and so we have consciousness and breath, miltah and ruacha, masculine and feminine, male and female, all the elements needed to make a new life.

And suddenly that is a more tangibly human concept, for here in Jesus, even as a baby, consciousness and breath are present; and his tiny heart beats – the divine made human. Word made flesh.