Day 51 – Pitching His Tent among Us

John 1:1-18: 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 (v. 14).

Devotion:  My brother snored.  Actually, that is an understatement.  My brother SNORED.  He was more than a bedroom snorer or even a household snorer.  My brother as a neighborhood snorer: you could hear him a block away.  Sharing a room with him for most of my childhood must have made me deaf to his sleeping problem.

One time, my family went camping in a state park.  We pitched our tent, prepared the campfire, ate hotdogs, and roasted s’mores.  Then, we retired for the evening.  It was a busy weekend.  Campers filled every site in the park.  They were all gone the next morning when we awoke.  The rangers told my parents that my brother snored so loud that people packed up and went to other camp grounds in the middle of the night.

John tells a different story in his Gospel: In the middle of the night, while all the earth was sleeping, God came in the flesh as Babe of Bethlehem by pitching is tent among us.  God came to tabernacle among us in Jesus Christ – to dwell with us in complete harmony.  He caught us all unawares as he came to draw all people to himself.[1]  He did not come to drive people away.[2]  He came as the glorious light of Trinitarian community which he yearned to extend to humans in exhaustless companionship.

In the darkness of the world, let us remember that Jesus came as the True Light.  He was the fullness of God’s Light (Divine revelation).  Jesus was not a reflection of moonlight, the dim beam of a flash light, the flickering of a campfire, or the tail of a shooting star. Looking into him we see the fullness of God’s grace and truth; and we see ourselves (helpless, hopeless, and nude).  Do not hide out in the dark, snoring!  Wake up, and come to the one who has come to you.  Pull up a chair, warm yourself by the fire of Spirit, and join in the everlasting songs of praise.

Prayer: God our Father, thank you for coming to us in Jesus Christ, when we could not come to you because of our sin.  Thank you for pitching your tent among us, and not driving us from the land.  Shine your light upon, inside, and around us to reveal your divine self, and your invitation to true community.  Call us from the darkness of this world into your bountiful light.  We pray in the name of Christ. Amen. 

Prayer Exercise:  “Novenas,” page 85, in Patricia D. Brown, “Paths to Prayer: Finding Your Own Way to the Presence of God,” (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003). ISBN: 0-779-6565-0. Copyright © 2003 by Patricia D. Brown.  All rights reserved.  

[1] John 12:32

[2] John 6:37

About Dr. Ivan E. Greuter

A native of Nebraska, Ivan accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior and experienced a call to the ministry at a young age. He graduated from Kearney Senior High before attending Ottawa University (Kansas) where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He attended Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, IL to earn a Master of Divinity in Pastoral Care and Counseling (1999) and a Master of Arts in Philosophical Theology (2002). In 2014, Ivan earned a Doctor of Ministry in Missional Spirituality from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. His dissertation: “Searching For God When You Have Lost Your Dogma: The Promise of New Life for an American Baptist Congregation by Increasing Passionate Spirituality through Devotional Consideration of the Doctrine of the Trinity and Natural Church Development.” He served as the senior minister at First Baptist Church of Wood River, Illinois (1999-2006), and Central Baptist Church of Quincy, Illinois (2006-2016) prior to joining the staff at West Side Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. Ivan enjoys French cooking, fly fishing, gardening, and playing games with family and friends. Ivan and his wife, Rexanne, live in Topeka with their three children – two daughters and a son.
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