There Goes the Neighborhood!

John 1:14

What a diverse and fascinating neighborhood we occupy on planet Earth in our little corner of the galaxy! Tribes and tongues and peoples and nations. This kind of wonderful diversity, this colorful mosaic of peoples and cultures, has moved much closer to home these days.

Sometimes people get nervous when a strange looking family from somewhere unfamiliar moves into the neighborhood. Who are they? Where did they come from? What are they really like? What do they believe? Someone fearful of change may mutter, “there goes the neighborhood!”

At Christmas, God came to us as a human person. “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood” (John 1:14, The Message). He became part of our story. Part of our community.

He was born among us. He played in our streets. He worked there and laughed there. He was tempted and He taught there. We watched Him grow and get to know His neighbors—loving them with all their differences, caring for them, giving Himself to them in friendship and finally dying for them.

We saw the radiant glory of God in Him shining through His very human-ness. It made our hearts sing for sheer joy. It means our human story can never be the same again. Having seen Him, anything is possible.

God has moved into our neighborhood. And all the dark forces of ignorance, prejudice, violence and fear are sent scurrying for the cover of night. “The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out” (John 1:5 The Message).

And the neighborhood? All its dark alleyways and dead end streets of despair must yield to the light of His presence. “There goes the neighborhood!”

Christmas has come for you, for me and for all in our dark and weary world. Light and promise are everywhere.

Paul A. Rader, Young Salvationist

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