Ever walked into a place and just felt like it was home?
For those of you who had a good home life, this question probably brings back warm feelings, good memories, and a sense of “yeah… I know what that feels like. It’s good”
I realize that for others, that question can evoke a general sense of “not my favorite place”…. or maybe feelings of fear and anxiety, uncertainty or not being accepted. Trauma even.
So let me define what I mean by “home”
It’s a place where you know you are welcome
Where no one will shame you or make fun of you, where they will defend you (whether you are right or wrong) because you are worth defending. And if you let them, they will challenge you to help you grow .
It’s where you can walk in and grab a drink, settle into a nice comfy chair and rest from the stuff of life from time to time .
It’s where you are known, like really known, because you have ugly cried or vented with them, or them with you. Or even just maybe because you have walked in life together for a really long time even if you are totally opposite .
It’s where no matter how happy or sad or angry or confused or lonely or disillusioned or betrayed you are, you it’s ok. You can be full of faith, dismantling faith, or without any faith- and someone will enter into that sacred space of risk and vulnerability with you to say “It’s ok. I’m here for you no matter what”.
For some of you, maybe that seems like a fairy tale, a dream of something others have that is just too far for you to even consider…. But I want to share something with you that I noticed in a new way the other day.
John 14:23 says this: (note: I realize every translation says “he” in this passage but of course this applies to everyone so I’ve made it neutral )
“If anyone loves me, they will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to that person and make our home with them .
Part of why I am so fascinated with the person of Jesus is because of this. The audacious claim that the very God of the universe, the one who authored time and space and everything science is figuring out has said that the fullness of God will make a home with us. Not just corporate us, but me. And with you. For you.
It’s not dependent on your education, your economic situation, your social standing, your title, your sex/gender/orientation, your race or ethnicity, your religious background.
It’s the promise Jesus makes when we seek him and walk in his ways. “Attend carefully” is actually what the original text says. Attend to, pay attention to Jesus ways and put them into practice.
In a world and time in history when so many feel disconnected and unknown (because the number of followers on social media have nothing to do with really being known) — does this not bring a message of hope?
The audacious claim the New Testament scriptures make is that the very Spirit of the living God comes to dwell in us when we choose to believe that Yahweh came and walked in the flesh, that he did it because he knew humanity was broken and he wanted redemption and reconciliation for everyone.
Paul knew this so deeply. He lived it and breathed it. In his letter to the church in Colossae, he says that in his death and resurrection Jesus has “reconciled all thing to himself, whether things in heaven or on earth”.
The Message translation put it this way: “ So spacious is he, so expansive, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken pieces of the universe – people and things, animals and atoms – get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies all because of his death.”
It’s not religion. It’s an invitation to come home.