Today’s Scripture: John 1:14

14 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.  (NRSV)

In his Prologue, John paints a majestic picture of the Word and God. Some scholars believe that this prologue was most likely an early Christian hymn. It soars like music. It literally seems to sing. As the writer depicts the Word in grand pictures and images, our spirits are lifted by the splendor of his declarations about God and the Word. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and the Word became flesh.”

Artwork by Eleanor Roberts

Artwork by Eleanor Roberts

On Christmas Eve, we anticipate the celebration once again of the birth of Jesus. Jesus was a human being. The Gospel of John declares, “The Word became flesh.” Flesh. The Word became a human being and dwelt among us. In the Greek, “dwelt among us” literally means “He pitched his tent among us” or “He tabernacled with us.”

Raymond Brown, the New Testament scholar, observes that the Johannine concept of “pitching his tent” is rooted in the ancient Israelite view of God dwelling with God’s people in the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle represented the localized presence of God with God’s people. Ezekiel and other prophets predicted that one day God would make God’s dwelling with God’s people forever (Ezekiel 43:7).  “When the Prologue proclaims that the Word made his dwelling among men and women, we are being told that the flesh of Jesus Christ is the new localization of God’s presence on earth, and that Jesus is the replacement of the ancient Tabernacle.” No longer will God dwell in tents or in the temple, but God tabernacles in Jesus Christ. Our understanding of the Incarnation begins by focusing on the humanity of Jesus Christ.

Let’s prepare on this Christmas Eve to proclaim and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God. Kneel before the mystery of the birth of the Incarnate One.