“The incarnation, Jesus tabernacling among us, has corporate implications for both mission and architecture.”

Photo emailed from dad Blick, 2011

IX. The Sermon: Tabernacling – Rev. Kyle McClellan, Senior Minister, Grace Presbyterian Church

The Big Idea: the incarnation, Jesus tabernacling among us, has corporate implications for both mission and architecture.

I. Get the pronouns correct (John 1:14)

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

God has tabernacled through his son among US. WE have seen his glory. It is not just about what God is doing for me. There is a corporate nature to it as well. There is a corporate sense of witness – what is it that we are sharing in word and deed in Fremont corporatly? When people in Fremont think of Grace, what is it that they say and think?

Is is about you and I and me? Yes, but it is also corporate.

II. Missional versus attractional (John 1:14, 20,21)

Jesus wore shoes. He slept. He cried. He was not a kind of human – he WAS human. The tabernacle was the place of meeting where God met with his people. It was Gods idea. Religion says we figure out ways to get to God. But Christianity is where God comes and tabernacles among us.

Jesus is the sent one. This has lists of implications on how we do missions. Do they come to us? Or do we go to them? A missional church does ministry among and out in the tribe that they are called to. The ‘Attractional model’ is the church building is where you will come and see God. Instead, we want to go to them as Jesus came to us.

III. Our architecture ought to reflect our missional values.

The Old Testament passage read today from Exodus 31 noted the great concern that God has for beauty in His temple.

What was cheap about the incarnation? Nothing. It was immensely costly to Christ for leaving his throne of majesty and come to earth.

Three classic models:
A. Cave. Early Christians were kicked out of the synagogues and had to meet secretly underground, in house churches, caves, and secretly. This is common where the gospel is not welcomed in society.

B. Fortress. After 300AD when Christianity became the main religion in society and through the middle ages, we see massive cathedrals like St. Peters Cathedral.

C. Tent. Modest, not overpowering, it enters into a neighborhood without dominating it. It fits the archecture of the buildings around it. We want to be neighbors in the neighborhood, even if some of the neighbors profess to be atheists.

More modern models:

D. Theatre. It is geared for people to come and watch the show, listen to the music, hear the word and then have things to act upon.

E. Mall. The building considers that you are a potential consumer of the religious goods and services that God has in this building, including food court, concourses for each program like youth, nursery, college, etc.

The wonderful thing about Christ’s incarnation is that it has implications for all our lives and how we do ministry.

In an old building restored, we take something broken and leaking and make it new. That is just what the picture of the gospel is to our broken lives. We broken sinners are made new.

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