God Pitched a Tent

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

“And the word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).” The words “among us” can also be translated “to dwell or dwelt.” What the Greek word means here is derived from the noun for tent, so connection with the tabernacle in the wilderness where the Lord dwelt with Israel. In Jesus, God has pitched a tent among us.

In the Old testament book of Exodus, the people were wandering in the desert in search of the promised land. For a worship space, God gave them the tabernacle which was a movable facility that could be transported from place to place.

Near the close of the book of Revelation, the author John describes his vision of a new heaven and a new earth. Listen to it, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down from out of Heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, “Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with people, and God will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God shall be with them, and be their God." (Revelation 21:1-4)

Again the word “dwell” is literally translated to “pitch a tent.” Thus, from Exodus to Revelation, we find the identical imagery, our God “pitching tent” among God’s people; first in the tabernacle, then in the wilderness, and ultimately in God’s Kingdom, when Jesus comes again to establish a new heaven and a new earth.

I want a God who pitches a tent. I want a God who is with us when jobs are lost, wars are fought, youth go astray, illness finds faithful servants of the Lord, marriages fracture, and a lack of finances breeds fear. I want a God who comes near to where courage, confidence and strength are gone. I want God’s holy encampment there and nowhere else.

I hope to see you at 3, 5 or 7pm on Christmas Eve and on Sunday the 26th when we depart from normal worship to take the GGCC tabernacle out into the world and worship and serve elsewhere (check out the GGCC website for details).

May God set up camp next to you this day and always,

Pastor David J. Jensen

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