December 29, 2015

In the Old Testament when the children of Israel were being led by Moses from Egypt (think Exodus: Gods and Kings) God told them to build a tent, often called a tabernacle, where God’s glory would live in their midst. They were given very specific dimensions and specifications because, after all, this would be the dwelling of God. The word used in the phrase “moved into the neighborhood” above is the verb form of the one used in Exodus for this tent or tabernacle. I think most of John’s first readers would have picked up on this. Matthew and Luke give us the events of Christmas in story form. John gives us the meaning of Christmas in an essay. God moved into the neighborhood, camped out with us, took on flesh and blood, became one of us, and people saw it. God was not an abstract idea nor a philosophy nor a collection of rules for right living. God was a human being in the midst of human beings and was glorious. We call this the incarnation, this God becoming flesh (think carnivore- flesh eater) and living among us. After the cuteness of Christmas fades, the great mystery of who Jesus was, what he was like and what he was all about still remains. It may take more than 12 days of Christmas to deal with that. How has God moved into your neighborhood?

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