St John's logo

A good home, (Advent thought #3)

Si Walker, 23rd December 2016

A small house on the back of a trailer

Christmas is a time for socialising and being with loved ones. Have you ever considered....

God is the most loving and sociable being in the universe. The God of the Bible is one who likes having others around. Even as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we can see that the true God is community minded and loves to throw the door open to people. Generosity is his middle name, and our parties pale in comparison to the kind of welcome and fellowship he wants to offer!

'friendship with God is pretty earthy and real'

As we looked at the theme of 'walking' in our last post, this time we are looking at homes and I would love us to see some patterns.

In Exodus 33:11 we see that the home which God has instructed Moses to make for him (the Tabernacle) is a place of fellowship. God dwells in the holy of holies and Moses is permitted to come in and talk with him, 'as a man talks with his friend.' Pause there for a minute, friendship with God is pretty earthy and real.

During advent and the Christmas season, we then get to consider that Christ came to tabernacle among us. 'The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us' (John 1:14). The Greek Word for dwelling is associated with a pitched tent and would certainly have made the original readers think of the Tabernacle given to Moses. In fact, when the Old Testament was translated into Greek from Hebrew, they used this dwelling word from John 1.

'Give me a house on the worst street, I'm selling my mansion.'

How awesome that God took flesh and came to make his home amongst us! Even though we were a very unappealing home in one sense, God laid aside the demands of his holiness, to come and set up home with us. It is more extreme than walking into the worst estate agents, in the worst town and saying: 'Give me a house on the worst street, I'm selling my mansion.'

But things didn't end with Christ dwelling amongst us. John 14:23 is a lovely little verse, where Christ tells us that if we love him, not only he, but the Father also will come and make their dwelling IN US! 'My Father will love them and we will come to them and make our home with them.' We are not a good home, but we have a wonderfully loving God, who through the death of Jesus has come and co-habited with sinners.

So perhaps when you open the door to friends and family, you can think about the God who came and dwelt? Have a blessed Christmas rejoicing in God.