'IN the beginning was the Word ...' John 1:1.

These familiar words reflect the fact that Jesus, born on the first Christmas day, was alive in the most creative way before the day of His birth.

Jesus had come to bring life to men yet John himself had personally witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus.

Had the light been extinguished on that dreadful day? It seemed so. But Jesus was wonderfully raised from the dead.

Long after those events, when he wrote his Gospel, John still enjoyed as loving a relationship with the risen Jesus as he had when they had walked the roads of Judea together.

It remains true: the Jesus Christians find in the Bible is the same Jesus they know in their lives today.

Jesus was alive before He was born and when they put Him to death he rose from the dead. He is alive. Get to know Him now - don't wait for Christmas.

REV DR LEE RAYNER, Malvern Evangelical Church.