The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
— John 1:14
One fundamental truth of God’s long history with human beings is simply this: God loves to be with people.
In the beginning, God walked with humans in the garden (Genesis 3:8). And when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and invited chaos into God’s good world, God went to find them when they hid from him.
When God rescued his people from slavery in Egypt, he journeyed with them in cloud and fire, and God literally pitched his tent, the tabernacle, in the center of their community.
When we first hear of the coming Messiah in Isaiah 7:14, we learn that he will be called Immanuel, which means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). And when Jesus entered human history, taking on our flesh and blood, John 1 says he “made his dwelling among us.” The literal wording there is that he “pitched his tent,” or “tabernacled,” among us. And now the Lord has sent his Spirit to live in us—and to move among us in our dysfunctional churches.
Being together and eating together is a sign of welcome, respect, and a desire for peace. Jesus eats with everyone: religious leaders, tax collectors, prostitutes, the rich, the poor—all kinds of sinners.
At the Lord’s table, Jesus invites all kinds of flawed, broken, sinful people to eat with him. God loves to be with us.
Lord, thank you for coming to live with us, and for sending your Spirit to live in us, giving us your life. May we live for you. Amen.