A tent. A temporary, cloth or canvas fabric home, held together by stitches and poles, secured by stakes. A tent. Wrinkled, sometimes torn, seldom what we could refer to as “beautiful.” A tent. A place to live when you’re just passing through for a few days. A tent.
Exactly what was described when the Bible says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…”? There’s the word. In that verse. He “pitched a tent” among us. For thirty-three earthly years the Word-Made-Flesh occupied a temporary house… flawed, wrinkled, torn. Not what we could refer to as beautiful.
I can only begin to imagine the transition this way. In Port-au-Prince, Haiti… especially since the 2011 earthquake, much of the population in and around the city lives in tents. Tent cities. Blue tarps that we use to patch a leaking roof… are their roof. Now imagine leaving the comfortable bed you woke up in this morning and flying to Haiti with nothing in your hands… and moving into a tent. To love them. To tell them about Jesus. Could you do that? Jesus loved the Father so much… loved us so much… that this is what He did.
He lived in a tent. His body. He lived in our “tent-village,” the planet earth. He camped among His own kind… like them in every way. Human, hurting, vulnerable. Our tents “groan,” Paul reminds us. They are weak, and sometimes they fold up… we call that death. The Bible calls it “moving your tent.” (2 Corinthians 5)
Christmas is about a profound event in which the Word of God, the second person of the Godhead, came to our world through the womb of a virgin… and lived in a tent of Middle Eastern variety. He was “made like His brothers” in every way, yet without sin.
And He lived in a tent. Like yours. Like mine. Because He loved us.
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory…..” John 1:14
Our Lord and our King, we come before You amazed by the wondrous love You showed at Christmas… and always. A love we cannot understand, that would allow Your beloved Son to occupy a tent like the one we live in to meet us where we are… in our pain… in our sorrow… in our brokenness. And to show us that, even in our “tent-ness,” we are loved by God. What wondrous love it is. Through our Redeemer we pray, Amen.