One of the great themes of the Bible is the earth as the place of God’s dwelling with humanity. All of creation begins with God and humanity dwelling together in a garden- until everything falls apart. Nevertheless, God is resolute on dwelling again with his people on the earth. He comes to them in the wilderness and dwells with them in the Tabernacle, and later when they settle in the land he dwells among them in the Temple. Yet this was a far cry from Eden when God walked side by side with his people. So in an astonishing turn that no one expected, John says that in the incarnation “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” God actually came and settled down with his people in a body, in a home, in a neighborhood, taking up residency among us. Yet it gets even better- Jesus gives the Holy Spirit, who enables the person of Jesus to dwell in every human heart (Eph 3:17), and the church becomes the new temple, the public dwelling place of God on the earth (Eph 2:22). And at the end of time, when Jesus returns to restore all things, the earth again becomes the place where God dwells with humanity (Rev 21:3).
God wants to dwell with you. With us. That is one of the great themes of the Scriptures, and all of it is centered in and made possible through the Incarnation of Jesus. This week, we’ll explore this great theme and its implications for our lives, our relationships, and our work in the world.
As you prepare for worship this Sunday, take some time to trace this theme of dwelling throughout the Scriptures and ask the Holy Spirit to give us a renewed experience of his dwelling among us.
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14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.