“This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.‘I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you.” John 14:17-18
In the beginning, when God created the Heavens and the Earth – when the morning stars sang together with all the heavenly host – God dwelt with us in the Garden. God was close. God was close to us, because God wanted to be close to us.
After God rescued his children from the oppression of slavery in Egypt, he told them that he would meet them atop the Ark of the Covenant, on the Mercy Seat, between the wings of the cherubim. The very Presence of God Almighty dwelt among his people. And there he met us.
After David established Jerusalem as the heart of the Israel, and after Solomon built a grand Temple atop Zion, the Presence of God Almighty entered the Temple. It was the place where Heaven and Earth met. It was the place where God pitched his tent amongst us.
And, in the fullness of time, Jesus came. Born of our sister Mary. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
God becoming flesh was new. Groundbreaking. World-altering.
But, it’s the same story. It was happening in a new way, but it was always the desire of God: to be with His People.
In Jesus, God pitched his tent with us. And this time God was taking on flesh. Living among us. Living as one of us. Living for us.
Dying for us.
And, even after we chanted “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” he wouldn’t abandon us.
“Because I live, you also will live.” John 14:19
The Grand Story of God is the beautiful story of a God who not only created us out of the dust of the ground, made us in His holy image, and breathed his life into us – but it’s also the story of a God who has pursued us to the ends of the earth from the beginning.
Apparently, we had Him at “hello.”
Not because we were particularly good. Or smart. Or witty. Or cute. Or any of that.
But, because we are His.
And yes, there are moments when we strayed far away from him. We set up altars to foreign gods. We worshipped idols. We failed to live according to The Way he asked us to. And yes, there are times when we were punished. When we were sent away.
When we sat in Babylon with no song to sing. When our teeth ground on gravel.
But, time after time after time God’s love always won out. Time after time God claimed us once more. And God pitched his tent just a little closer to us than the last time.
“I will not leave you orphaned. I am coming to you.” John 14:18
Yes, you are Jesus. As always.