“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
We have seen his glory.”
Do you have a favourite moment in a movie? Maybe the moment Gandalf and the riders of Rohan appear on the ridge to save Helm’s Deep in The Two Towers. Or maybe the end of An Officer and a Gentlemen when Zack, in full military uniform carries Paula out of the factory. Or the moment Luke Skywalker destroys the Death Star in Star Wars: A New Hope.
The Bible is jam-packed with dramatic moments, burning bushes, pillars of fire, Angelic rescues, fire from heaven, and battles against all human odds. But it also has many significant quiet moments when God speaks through the little things.
The descent of the glory of God on the tabernacle in Exodus 40 was an example fo the former - an explosion of special effects. Matthew 1v23 is an example of the latter. Isaiah is quoted “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel.” No one saw or heard the cells combine at the conception of Jesus. Even Mary would have been unaware of the exact moment when it occurred.
Though the moment of conception passed unnoticed and the baby seemed so fragile, there is no drama to match this moment. Nothing speaks more powerfully of the determination of God’s love.
Our reading - John 1 uses the phrase “made his dwelling” is literally “tabernacled”. God pitched his tent among us in the person of His Son. All that the tabernacle symbolised is realised in Jesus. Here in human form is God’s intent to live among his people and welcome us into his presence.
And one day, as Jesus died - the ultimate sacrifice - the curtain dividing us from the Most Holy Place was torn in tow from top to bottom. The writer of Hebrews says that in Jesus we pass through the curtain into God’s presence (Hebrews 10v19-22). We do that now every time we pray and we will do that one day when we stand before God.