Advent | God dwells amongst us

“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood” (John 1:14)

God dwells amongst us

Holly grows down the middle of the street on a verge. A few months back the Council came along and decimated the holly trees. I imagine someone complained about their vehicle being scratched. They don’t look beautiful anymore, cut off to a precise height decreed from on high I suppose!

I always think of Christmas when I see holly so all through the year the trees that adorn our neighbourhood remind me of Christmas. Christmas is when we celebrate Jesus coming into the world, moving into the neighbourhood.

My picture is of an FYT bauble hung on one of the holly trees. I did that because as well as bringing God into the neighbourhood I bring FYT too because they are part of who I am, I share their passion for young people and their desire to take God’s love into the world in so many different ways. However, it’s not really about what I bring to the neighbourhood, it’s about what God is already doing there, God dwells among us and we encounter God in unexpected places and people. 

One of my contributions to Christmas at church is a Blue Christmas service, that’s about remembering that God became flesh and lived among us and gets what it’s like to be human today and wants to love and comfort us on those days in this Christmas season when life is tough and the last thing we feel like doing is rejoicing. I am grateful for the FYT movement which is out there in their neighbourhoods offering the love of Jesus, seeking out those who are having a tough time and enabling them to be real rather than having to put on a fake happy smile because it’s Christmas and we are supposed to be happy. God is at work in and through us but we can also encounter God in and through those we meet.

This reflection was written by Sally Nash from the Institute for Children, Youth and Mission  for our Advent Series on John 1:14 from the message (‘The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood.’).