PITCHING A TENT: The God who created the universe stepped out of His heavenly realm and pitched His tent in Bethlehem on that first Christmas morning. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made,” (John 1:1-3). This is what makes the following verse so remarkable, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth,” (John 1:14 NIV). Jesus is fully God and yet he became man, “took on flesh”. Jesus in his birth took on the full nature of man except for the sin nature of man. Jesus is both God and man and always will be. What a great truth and what a great mystery. Jesus, the creator of all things, stepped out of heaven and “pitched his tent” among us (“made his dwelling”). As a tent is a temporary dwelling place so was Jesus in His earthly body to be here temporarily.
Jesus is a gift to man, from a loving and gracious God, to provide forgiveness of sins and eternal life (John 3:16). And while He was here on planet earth the glory of God was shown to the Apostles John, Peter, and James on the Mount of Transfiguration, evidently referred to here. But in addition to that Jesus was full of grace and truth and it was in full evidence for all to see. In contrast to the Law of Moses the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ was like a lighthouse on a shoreline of rocks guiding people toward God and safety instead of condemnation. And the truth that poured from His lips left the common people in awe and joy and the religious leaders dumbfounded by the wisdom Jesus displayed.
So that first Christmas day Jesus began His journey among mankind as an infant; a baby lying in a manger where the cattle normally would be fed. Surrounded by Joseph and Mary and eventually some shepherds and probably some animals, he was nurtured at His mother’s breast. What a simple, humble beginning for the creator of the universe in order to care for the sins of mankind. The love of God for sinful human beings is beyond man’s comprehension. A simple day of honor one day a year is not enough to honor such a loving God. And for most of the world that one day is almost lost in a society focused on materialism. So we Christians in our living need to honor God through our lives like every day is Christmas day and every day brings celebration and honor to our King who “pitched His tent” among us and now lives in and through us.