A Pilgrim God

18th November, 2010 - Posted by Claire Larsen - No Comments

“The God of Israel is a pilgrim God, who is not restricted to any one place.” (John Stott).

In summarizing the  primary thesis in Stephen’s sermon in Acts 7, John Stott makes the point that the Most High God doesn’t live in houses made by men. He is everywhere ,and no place of worship can confine Him. He dwells wherever His people are. As Stott says, God dwelt with Abraham in pagan Mesopotamia. He was with Moses in the land of pyramids, pharaohs, and a whole pantheon of Egyptian gods.

John 1 talks about this “pilgrim God.” The Word (Jesus Christ) who was  before creation, who created all things, who was with God and was God, came to earth and dwelt among His people. The word “dwelt” in John 1:14 is a Greek word that means “pitch a tent.” Jesus came to earth and pitched His tent among the people He created — the people who didn’t welcome Him.

Christmas is about this pilgrim God who can’t be confined to one place. He is the covenant God who has pledged with a solemn promise to be present wherever His people are. Wherever God’s people are, God is there with them.  As Paul quoted in Hebrews 13:5, Jesus says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

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