God has moved into our neighborhood
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
At confirmation camp at Lutheridge, we do an activity called Bible Speed Dating. You can imagine the laughter among teenagers at the name. It’s not what you think. Camp coun-selors and leaders sit on the outside of the circle, with stu-dents on the inside. The leaders get three minutes to share their favorite Bible verse and why. They help the student find it in their Bible, mark it and hear the story of why it is meaningful. Then 180 seconds later, a bell rings and you “speed date,” or move to the next leader to hear another story.
With each scripture shared there are stories — some of hope, some of courage, some of comfort. Each time we do this, I again find myself sharing from John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
It’s a passage we read around Christmas — a reminder to us that Jesus isn’t just a human born — but God’s self putting on flesh. Eugene Peterson, who paraphrased the scripture in The Message Bible, says it this way, “God put on flesh and blood and moved into our neighborhood.”
So Christmas was God’s moving day.
And it is a deep reminder to me, not just on Christmas, but each and every day that God has moved into the deep mess of human life and joined us there. God did not choose to rule from afar but get in the mess and walk with us.
And looking at the movement of God, I am reminded of my own call to get in the mess. Whether that mess is my own home, my neighborhood, the local school needing tutors, the county commissioners’ meetings, the park or even my own heart. Each time I read this I take heart and am encour-aged again. God dwells with us. And we dwell deeply in this world. And together, God’s love is revealed and we get a glimpse of God’s glory.
Pastor Danielle Kosanovich DeNise