April 21, 2020
"Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them" (John 14:23). As I write this, the state of Colorado has been under a "stay-at-home" order for nearly a month. Yesterday our Governor announced that the order will be relaxed slightly to become a "safer-at-home" recommendation next week. Depending on our life stages, careers, and relationship situations, the order has affected all of us differently. But one effect that I'm willing to guess we've all shared has been a change in the connotation of the word home. A word that once may have communicated feelings of safety and relaxation now draws more negative associations in our minds, like captivity or even imprisonment.
Jesus had much more positive and joyful images of home in mind when he said that he and the Father would come and make their home in us (John 14:23). "Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you," Jesus said in John 15:4 (The Message). This is the theme of a new book which people from our church are studying together, Henri Nouwen's Following Jesus: Finding our Way Home in an Age of Anxiety. In the first chapter, Nouwen writes "God wants to be our room, our house. . . . Right where we are, right here in this body, with this face, with these hands, with this heart, we are the place where God can dwell."
What if the next time we felt stir-crazy, we took it as an opportunity to remember that God is both our true home and the one who also makes a home in us? What if, instead of repeatedly rearranging the furniture in our homes, we took this as an opportunity to rearrange our inner lives to make more space for God? If you'd like to read more about this theme and talk about it with us, you're welcome to join either of our discussion groups. We'll meet on Zoom on Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. or Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. Just contact me for the appropriate Zoom link and the readings. My prayer today is that as we find our home in God we will discover an interior freedom that no outward restrictions can take away.
Grace and Peace,