“The Word became flesh and [pitched his tent] among us” (John 1:14). Ten different Bibles will yield ten different translations for this Greek word skenoo. The above translation is my favorite. The NIV says “made his dwelling” while some other translations even say he “tabernacled” among us. My Greek dictionary translates the word skenoo “to encamp, to reside or to dwell (as did God in the Old Testament tabernacle.” All the translations get at one basic idea, the God who was there came here. God stepped into our world in a human form; he “pitched his tent” among us. This is what we celebrate at Christmas.
Kristin and I are homesick right now. We want the comfort and familiarity of being with our families. We want grandparents to enjoy Jacob. We want cold weather, mashed potatoes, and 24 hours of “It’s a Wonderful Christmas”. Instead we get Brazil. Tonight we have been invited to spend Christmas with Carol’s family (Jeremy’s girlfriend). Their tradition is interesting. Carol’s father, who is the president of a seminary, opens the school and his family on Christmas Eve. Anyone is welcome to come and celebrate. The usual attendees are some staff and students who do not have family. The occasional homeless person, drug addict or foreigner might also be in attendance, a true black tie event. The point is that Carol’s family is very intentional about “pitching their tent” among the world. Christ’s sacrifice for humankind is embodied in their service to Rio’s disenfranchised.
It is our hope that you have a wonderful Christmas and that you, in your own way, share Christ’s love with others.