GRACE MEANS GOD CAME TO VISIT
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
- John 1:1, 14
Having visitors is fun but it changes the dynamics of your home. After all, visitors move into your personal space. They snack out of your refrigerator. They crash on your couch. They eat meals around your table. In a very real way, their lives intertwine with your own and change everything while they are there.
This is what Jesus did when he came from heaven to earth. John says, “The Word was God…and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” In other words God put on flesh and came for a visit.
You see the message of grace is not that God picked a baby to save the world but rather that God entered the world as a baby to visit us and change our lives.
This belief sets Christianity apart from every other religion. You see, on one end of belief there are religions like Buddhism and Hinduism which teach that God is in everything and that we all share in the divine. In these religions there is nothing all that special about God coming to visit because of course God is always visiting. He is part of us and we are part of him.
On the other end of the belief spectrum are religions like Islam, which teach that God is so far removed, that his coming to visit is impossible. We must make our way back to him by our own effort, because there is no way God would stoop down to meet our need for love and salvation.
But Christianity is utterly unique. Christianity teaches that God is so personal and involved in this world that his coming is not only possible; it is promised. Additionally, Christianity teaches that God is so far removed that his coming is a history-altering, life-transforming event – an event so spectacular that it can only be announced by a great choir of angels and yet an event so personal it touches the lives of ordinary shepherds on a hillside on the outskirts of Bethlehem.
Jesus is God in the flesh – God coming to visit – God eating at our table, snacking out of our fridge and falling asleep on our sofa. Jesus is God intertwining his life with our own, crashing on our couch and changing everything about us.
When someone visits you what does it say about how that person feels about you? How does the truth that Jesus took on flesh to dwell with us make you feel? What difference would it make in your life today if you saw Jesus as consistently dwelling with you?