The Shepherd’s Voice Pastor Randy Junker  "The Son of God camped for a while among us" John 1.14 is packed with Christmas truth. "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth " As I write this people are bringing in their gifts of Christmas, shoeboxes destined for a child some where in the world. These boxes are packed in prayer and the love of Jesus. The Son of God entered our sin-filled world, the gift of the Father He who loved sinners so much that He did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all. He "lived for a while among us." Literally "tabernacled" or tented or in our Northern Minnesota context "camped in a human body" among us. It was a temporary visit to be identified with us, qualifying Himself to be our sacrifice bearing our sin, dying for us. Death was sin's penalty He died for us. It qualified Him to be our Great High Priest to God; the official and only go between for us to God. This is amazing and essential teaching for us. However, this advent season I want to emphasize the "among us" in the verse. I hope to lead us to a deeper love of Christ who camped in the midst of our circumstances, our troubles, and felt our pain. I hope to lead you further into Christ where we take intentional steps to enter the troubles of others representing Jesus ministering His love to them. If Jesus can enter our frustrations of life, can His body the church and me, as a part of it, walk in His steps to apply His love there? Yes. By the power of the Holy Spirit, yes we can. The advent devotions while lighting the advent candles each Sunday will invite us to check out Jesus for ourselves. Philip called by Jesus to follow Him went with excitement to Nathanael, "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law and about whom the prophets also wrote - Jesus of Nazareth." Nathanael found this odd that fulfillment of prophecy be from Nazareth. Philip was not discouraged by his questioning friend. "Come and see." Yes, come and see Jesus among us. Among us in the Word. Among us in our Worship. Among us in our Welcome to each other Among us to the questioning World. "Come and see."
2016