In Scripture, Paul has a brilliant aside on the concept of “home” in 2 Corinthians 5:1-9. Basically, he makes the point that all of our temporary “homes” are just shadows and signs pointing toward our true home. The truth of the matter is that even this house (though we love it, and so far the neighborhood has been fantastic as well) is not really home. Winston-Salem is not home, Greenwood is not home. Asheville is not home.
Jesus is home.
Home is a place where you are known, and accepted in spite of that knowledge. Home is a place that is safe from all danger. Home is a place that is comfortable being yourself, even the nastiest parts of yourself.
We try and build buildings and neighborhoods that are all of those things, but the truth is that we can’t build it. Bricks and security systems may provide an illusion of safety. Nice furniture and hardwood floors may indeed give a sense of temporary comfort. But it can’t last. We try and build a temporary Jesus. We’re not so different from the idol-makers we look down our noses at when we read about them in scripture.
Our houses here need to be places of welcome, places designed not for our comfort, but the comfort of others who don’t know Christ. That doesn’t mean hardwood floors and nice furniture are bad things, just that they ought to be tools for the kingdom. If the neighbor’s kid can’t come over because you are afraid he might stain the carpet, maybe it’s time for new carpet (or a new attitude).
It’s just a house.
Here’s a video I made back in Asheville about a family who had just that perspective, by the grace of God. Enjoy.
What are some says that we can make our houses more like our true home? What are some things you have done? Comment below.