In Your World (Day 24)
And the Word became 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. ~ John 1:14
When my kids were younger, we would take the family camping a couple times of year. I loved sitting around the fire together telling stories until we were all ready to get in the tent and go to sleep. We would rarely fall asleep right away but would continue to talk and tell stories – snuggled up in our sleeping bags, zipped up in our tent. Those were great family moments camping out together.
The disciple John tells us that Jesus became flesh and “made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14, NIV). This is a powerful phrase literally meaning that Jesus pitched his tent in our midst. Jesus was God in the flesh as a man setting up camp and pitching his tent right in our world. Isn’t that an amazing thought?
I know as a parent that I had to look for opportunities to find my way into the worlds of my children. I wanted them to know of my love and interest by engaging with them, which meant camping, sports, playing Xbox, swimming, and watching Drake and Josh re-runs on Nickelodeon. One of my favorite things was to crawl up in bed with them at night and read bedtime stories. After reading, we would pray, talk, hug, and laugh. It was one more way for me to get into their world and be present to them. This was almost certainly part of God’s intention when Jesus stepped out of heaven and into our world.
Christmas reminds us that Jesus still wants to step into our world. It’s almost too good to be true. What kind of God would do that? You can research all the religions of the world, and you will not find anything comparable to the Incarnation of Jesus, God becoming a man and dwelling among us. Every other religion is based on a system of works where people must earn their favor with God.
And yet in scripture, we see Jesus coming to those who were lost, broken, and sinful. Jesus does not come to those who earn it, but to those who could never deserve it. You want to know the kind of God who would do this? The God of the Bible would do it – “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…” (Exodus 34:6-7) Aren’t you grateful Jesus wants to step into your world, and dwell among you? He still longs to come and pitch his tent and set up camp in the midst of our world and lives.
· The willingness of Jesus to come and “make his dwelling among us” should reveal to us something about God’s desire to know us, and for Him to be known by us.