“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)
God can make His home in all of heaven, the vast expanses of the universe belong to Him, and the earth is His footstool yet He chooses to make His home with us. That thought has captivated the imagination of human beings for centuries. Where can we build a place for His glory to dwell? What container, what temple or palace could possibly be grand enough to house the very presence of God?
Men have tried. They have built structures that defy the logic of their time, grand cathedrals with soaring painted, detailed and carved ceilings that remind all who enter to look UP!
There is an inner longing to dwell with God, or to be more practical, have Him dwell with us. The prophet Isaiah pleaded with God, "Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down." (Isaiah 64:1) David cried, "Lord, I love the house where you live, the place where your glory dwells. (Psalm 26:8) And at the time, He didn't even have a temple, only the portable (and fought over) Arc of the Covenant sitting in a tent! But He recognized the glory of God dwelling in that place!
I have been on this earth 52 years, I have been in relationship with Jesus my whole life, have visited and worshipped in cathedrals and churches around the world and I am still longing for something more. C.S. Lewis said, "If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” All this longing, this feeling of dissatisfaction with the things of the world is proof that there is more!
The truth is, we were created to be explorers, searchers of truth, finders of the nature of God. Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us, "...He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end." The search is not intended to frustrate us, but to delight us! More and more of God to discover. Mountains to climb, beauty to discover and mysteries to explore.
God has been our answer, our eternal solution, and He has been making provision for our connection. He has never stopped beckoning, inviting and reaching for us. Perhaps one of the most important journeys requires no travel, and no telescope, only a mirror.
Emmanuel, God with us. He chose to come and dwell with us and within us. In human hearts wrapped in ribs and flesh. We don't need to go somewhere to meet with God. Sometimes we just need to be still. To become aware of His glory that dwells within us. To breathe afresh the breath of God and come alive in wonder. He lives! He speaks! And He is here now! The Message version describes it this way:
"The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish."
May I encourage you today to stop, even for a moment and take a deep breath of the glory of God. Accept His invitation to dwell.