Home Sweet Home
I believe, in this time of self-isolation ,our homes have taken on a new and larger significance to us. We all love our homes (apartments, town houses, retirement residences, condos, houses etc.) and what God has provided for us but most of us have never spent such a long period of time in them. They have become our small Oasis in life. I also think of those that are homeless during this time of pandemic and my heart goes out to them. The challenges they face are incredible. But I do see many glimmers of hope because of the incredible people and resources that are now being directed towards them.
As I thought about this time of challenges and the idea of “hunkering down at home”, I thought of the passage from John 14… “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:2-4 NIV) Jesus is basically sharing His game plan with His disciples. He is encouraging them to look forward to the future. I think this is important for Christians to do. It is not a form of escapism or a prescription for irresponsibility, but a part of the precious “hope” that we have. As someone has said, "To believe in heaven is not to run away from life, it is to run toward it.”
C.S. Lewis states, “A continual looking forward to the eternal world is not a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do." I am not sure what our dwelling situations will be like but I do know they will be built for us out of love. It is like a young groom building a house for his new bride. It will be built by Christ and it will be built with unbelievable love.
It will be the perfect place. I remember hunting for a house when we came to Stoney Creek. We looked at many lovely homes but we wanted the one that was going to uniquely meet the needs of our family. Our homes in heaven will meet our unique personalities, gifts and talents. They will be absolutely perfect for us to live in fellowship and joy, with the Lord and others, for eternity.
They will enable us to more fully enjoy and worship Christ. The Westminster Shorter Catechism (in Modern English) Question #1 asks, “What is man’s primary purpose? A. Man’s primary purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” This will fully happen in Heaven.
They will be places of service. There, we will be both empowered and free to serve the Lord and each other in love. There, love will be realized. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV)
And it will be filled with JOY. C.S. Lewis reminds us “That the chief business of heaven is JOY!” I can only imagine what that will be like.
As we “hunker down” during this time of isolation, I hope we have time to thank God for what He has provided for us as an “ark” to journey through this pandemic. I hope also we have time to dream a little about Heaven and what our home will be like there!
Be encouraged, be safe and be in the love of Jesus – Pastor Ralph