What do logos have to do with Christmas?

A few years ago, our church’s staff and publicity committee began working on a logo. We wanted to find a symbol that we could put on our stationery, signs, and t-shirts that would graphically represent our mission statement, “Reaching up, reaching out, and reaching in.” I never realized what an arduous task this could be.
We learned that to come up with a strong logo, a leader must have a comprehensive knowledge of their organization’s identity. He or she must then be able to adequately communicate that identity to someone who is even more clever. That gifted person is then able to visualize the organization as a symbol and finally put it on paper. It took a long time, but we finally were able to create our logo, and we learned a lot about ourselves in the process.
Why do I tell this story? Well, the word “logo” is a shortening of an older word “logotype,” which has its deepest roots in the Greek word “logos.” To the ancient Greeks, the word logos called to mind the philosophy of the 6th century B.C thinker named Heraclitus. Heraclitus held that there was one formula, one computation, one “word” as it were, that united all other formulas, computations, and words. He hypothesized that there was one overarching principle that explained all the theories of all the thinkers from the ones who wrote poems, to the ones who would later describe the theories of quantum mechanics. Heraclitus’ writings and the writings of his contemporaries shaped the Greek’s understanding of “logos,” which was the Greek word for “word.”
Many scholars think that Greek philosophy had shaped John’s understanding when he wrote under divine inspiration, “in the beginning was the Word [logos], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). John could have been borrowing from Heraclitus and acknowledging that there is One that unifies the entire universe and all universal thoughts. If this were the case, then for John, Heraclitus’ logos was not a formula. No, the logos was a person, a person who was with God in the beginning and who by His nature was God.
Now the wheels come off in some people’s thinking when they come to that last clause, “and the Word was God.” Some wonder, if the Word (the Logos) is a person and God is a person, then how can the person of the Word be with the person of God and also be God all at the same time. It is not as difficult of a concept as it sounds when you understand that God is not just a person, but three persons in one. The Word is Jesus. He was with God before creation, and He was God in the sense that He was One of the three divine persons that made up the triune God.
John goes on to write in chapter 1 verse 14, that “the Word [that is the Logos, that is Jesus] became flesh and dwelt among us.” Here he implies that the One that unites all the universe together, the One who was with God and who was God in the beginning, did not remain far from us. He took on flesh and dwelt with His people, His creatures. He subjected Himself to the human experience of life on a fallen earth. Why did He do this? The answer is so that they would see His glory, and thus come to know Him, “as the one and only Son of the Father full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
Friends, during this advent season, this is what we are celebrating- the Logos becoming flesh and dwelling among us so that we could see His glory and come to know Him as the only Son from God full of grace and truth. We sacrifice to buy gifts for those we love because He sacrificed to give us the greatest gift of all. We gather together with the ones we love because He went to great lengths to gather together with us. We reach out to the poor because He also reached out and rescued us from spiritual poverty. We celebrate because His coming in human flesh was a miracle which has profoundly reshaped our hearts and lives.