I don't really have a place for announcements, so the start of some posts has to suffice. First and foremost, the sensational Emily Kate has started a blog. Go read her and love on her first post, because she is going to write some amazing things. Also, I'm asking that you pop over and purchase some amazing photography from Lauren and Max to help them get back home. They even have some new ones so, come on, you know you want to. "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we sawHis glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."
I don't consider myself much of a student of Greek, even while I'm studying it. I don't quite have the talent for languages that some of my friends do. But there are words, phrases, things that stand out to me from time to time and keep close to the fiber of my being. One such word is found in the Gospel according to St. John, when it is said that Jesus came to dwell among us.
The mystery of the incarnation, summed in a handful of words.
But the word dwell, though a fine English word, does little justice to the word that is used in the Greek. There the word is ἐσκήνωσεν, which means to fix one's tabernacle.
The Word became flesh, and He fixed His tabernacle among us.
Such mystery. The God who walked with Adam and Eve in the garden, who passed as a smoking fire pot between the animals offered by Abraham, who sent the pillar and the cloud, who made His dwelling in the wilderness tabernacle, who met His people in the temple, now fulfills the anticipation of all creation by tabernacling Himself, not with ritual or sacrifice, not with tent flaps or earthen wear. The Word tabernacles among us, eternal and perpetual, changing and uniting all things in and across time.
We are told that when Christ spoke to the Samaritan woman that He made it clear that the place of worship did not matter, but the heart. This tabernacle, the heavenly tabernacle, stretches across the cosmos and takes all under its protection. That is the great and fearful hope, anyway. We cannot be naive and presume that the tabernacling of Christ among us has meant freedom from consequence, from evil.
We know that it has not.
But the tabernacling of Christ among us has meant that we may dare hope that our Redeemer can bring about a mighty good even in the midst of great darkness and tribulation. So when the Word tabernacles, when He pitches His tent of the holy place, He invites us to dwell under the safety of its canopy but not to be idle in the court. No. We, the workmanship of a God who authors forth beauty and grace, are to make ourselves the ministers of this tent. We are to walk to the edges, to pull up one of the tent pegs, and to draw it out a little bit farther than it had been before, to bring one more stretch of land, however small, beneath the tabernacle to rest.
"In Him we move and have our being."
If our lives as Christians are concerned first with what we're doing dogmatically right and then with who is experiencing grace, we're missing something important. Bringing people beneath the shelter of the tabernacle is to love as Christ first loved us, for that is what He did first to show us His love.
And what love, to pitch His tent here.