It's Thursday, Day 19 in the Third Week of Advent. This morning I am still thinking about our friend Sharon, who unexpectedly passed away yesterday. Sometimes we have time to prepare for the death of a friend or loved one, and sometimes we don't. We didn't think that yesterday would happen. She is home in God's presence, and singing with the Angels to the glory of God. Yet she leaves behind her husband Bill, and her two sons, their spouses and grandchildren. It was a sad day yesterday, and it comes at - probably - the worst time of the year.
Christmas is a celebration of Jesus who came to dwell with us.
14 The Word became
flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the
One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
He made his dwelling with us. The word "dwelling" is from a Greek word that means "to tabernacle". The Old Testament Tabernacle was designed by God, constructed under Moses' supervision and was consecrated in the Wilderness so that the nation of Israel would know that "God was among us".
We all live in "Dwellings"... we call them Homes and we create a place that is "Ours"...safe, comfortable, even sacred. God dwells with us.
"Immanuel" means "God with Us"...Jesus came to dwell with us...to make His home with us. Jesus came to live among us so that His life would pave the way for an eternity of Life with God.
We need to remember that dwellings here on not permanent. Paul writes to the Corinthians:
2 Corinthians 5:1-2
1 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed,
we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the
2 For in this tent we groan,
longing to put on our heavenly dwelling,
All of us live temporarily in these "tents" which we call our body. In these "tents" we groan, because we long to be at "home"...in the dwelling that ultimately God has fashioned for us.
13 "In your
unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.
That's the promise we must hold on to. As Jesus came to dwell among us, so also he said "I go to prepare a place for you." This is the promise we have, that we have a dwelling being prepared for us by God's own promise through the Gospel.
Our friend Sharon has just received hers!
3 And I heard
a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and
he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with
them and be their God.