Sunday, November 18, 2007

On the importance of tents

I'm pretty sure that my most quoted verse in the whole bible is John 1v14. It's the fulcrum of history. Eugene Peterson offers my favourite rendering of it, "The word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighbourhood." But you don't need to know more than very basic Greek to recognise that all the various translations are paraphrasing a root noun that basically means tent. According to John, when Jesus appeared on the scene it was as if God was, 'pitching his tent among us.' So it would seem then that the humble tent now becomes a pretty important New Testament image (as indeed it was in the Old). However, it was only yesterday, doing some prep for a talk on the subject of worship that I came across this in Revelation chapter 7v15: "he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them". Same writer using the same metaphor. He clearly knows exactly what he's doing.
The importance of tents then? Well, don't you see? If the incarnation was merely a pitching of God's tent among us, what we can look forward to eschatologically is that great day when we will be fully enveloped within the tent of God. And even for someone with a deep-rooted loathing of camping, that sounds very cool indeed.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

still reading and enjoying/thinking, not doing much commenting but I'm still very much enjoying the various directions you're taking my brain...!