December 03, 2010

A Next-door Savior

John 1:1-14

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
John 1:14


“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.” That’s how Eugene Peterson describes this event in The Message. Max Lucado, in one of his books, refers to Jesus as “a next door Savior.” Others, commenting on John 1:14, have said that Jesus “tented” among us. That’s what happened when Jesus came: the eternal Son of God moved into our neighborhood and set up camp.

And when he did, he became one of us. He came within our reach, he identified with us, and he came to trade places with us. He came close enough so that even shepherds who were looked down on were able to see and touch him. He grew up in an ordinary carpenter’s home, in a small, commonplace village. He willingly obeyed his earthly parents (Luke 2:51). Later, throughout his teaching ministry he moved among ordinary people, touching lepers, healing the sick, and showing God’s love to all kinds of sinners.

I invite you to follow the Lord Jesus as he moves into the neighborhood, touching and changing lives. And as you follow him, remember that the Savior wants to move into your neighborhood. He wants to be part of your life, whoever or wherever you are. Make sure you invite him into your heart and home. He is standing at your door and is knocking. If you open your door, he will come in (Revelation 3:20).

Holy Spirit, prepare our hearts and homes to let Jesus move in with us. Give us the grace to let him touch us and change our lives. In his name, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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