November 14, 2022
If we remain merely impressed and astonished at God among us, then we are mere observers of the good news. How do we respond to the good news of Jesus?
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. —John 1:14
Sometimes we read and hear Bible verses so often that we may forget to stop and ponder what they really mean. If we stop to think about what John 1:14 declares—and what we celebrate at this time every year—it’s astonishing. What can we ponder about John 1:14 for our lives today as Christ's witnesses?
1. God became flesh.
The same Word—capital W—that created the universe and everything in it grew as an embryo in a mother’s womb! The mighty Word that spoke, “and there was light,” dwelt in the darkness! The eternal Word who appeared in a pillar of cloud and a fire, in prophets, in miracles, and in the care of little sparrows, roaring lions, and mighty mountains! This awesome, everlasting, all-powerful, all-knowing Word, God, came down, gave it all up to be with you, me, and our neighbors.
How are we “flesh and blood” in our neighborhoods?
2. The Word dwells among us.
God sticks around. God comes, not just to visit us, but to move in. “Into the neighborhood,” as Eugene Peterson puts it in The Message translation. God comes to hang out with us, in our ordinary, everyday lives and communities, to get to know us and to be with us.
How are we dwelling among and getting to know our neighbors?
3. And we beheld his glory, God’s glory!
God is no longer confined to the Holy of Holies, the mountaintop, or the veiled face of Moses. In Jesus, God’s glory is on display for all to see, touch, and experience! We’re assured not only that God knows, but also that God can be known! In Christ, “holiness” becomes humanity. Right next door, the kingdom of God comes near, full of grace, truth, love, and humility.
But beholding isn’t the end of the flesh and glory story. In fact, the flesh and glory story doesn’t end with Christmas or even with Jesus’ resurrection and ascension. It continues in the lives—in the flesh—of those who believe and receive Christ.
Where is the Spirit—full of love, grace, and truth—present and active in your neighborhood?
4. Those who have seen God’s glory are God’s glory in the flesh, now.
If we remain, as so many do, merely impressed and astonished at God among us, then we are mere observers of the good news. At best, we’re admirers responding as we would to an article about good news in the newspaper. Responding to the good news of Jesus in the flesh is part of the wonder, beauty, and challenge of Go Local.
How do we not only discover God at work in our neighborhoods but also embody God’s grace and truth?
…so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. —2 Thessalonians 1:12
Karen Wilk is a Go Local catalyzer with Resonate Global Mission