Open your door to Je­sus

The Daily Observer - - NEWS - WAYNE K. SOLLOWS Rev. Wayne Sollows is the pas­tor of First Bap­tist Church, Pem­broke, and a part­time mil­i­tary chap­lain to HMCS Car­leton, Ottawa

As we re­flect on the sum­mer past, we think of those who moved into a new home; get­ting set­tled with all its fresh pos­si­bil­i­ties.

It re­minds me of all the times I’ve moved; to think about how a house is a home to those who live there. That each fam­ily im­prints its own mem­o­ries and his­tory on a struc­ture of vinyl, wood and brick just as each changes the paint colours or the drapes.

The re­al­ity that the pre­vi­ous fam­ily doesn’t live there any­more, and yet what is my home, will al­ways be re­mem­bered as their home, too. The way we’ve all had the ex­pe­ri­ence of driv­ing by some place we lived in, or like the place we call home, now – peo­ple ex­pect to find us there.

But I ask you: what about the church? Do you think peo­ple look at the church and say, “that’s where God lives.” Or do you won­der if peo­ple ask: “If I go to that church this Sun­day morn­ing, will I en­counter Je­sus?”

Maybe, but what about this ques­tion – one that hits closer to home: Is Je­sus at home in your house­hold? Does Je­sus live there? For Je­sus makes it clear that he’s wait­ing out­side each door, (Rev­e­la­tions 3:21), “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If any­one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in...”

Do we open the door so, as Paul says, (Eph­e­sians 3:16) “that Christ may dwell in your heart”?

For if we al­low Je­sus to come in, look at what we find, as we see in Mark 1:29-31. A pas­sage in which we find Je­sus go­ing into a home, as Mark re­counts, 29…. they went to the home of Si­mon and An­drew, 30. Si­mon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever,… 31. So he went to her, took here hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she be­gan to wait on them.

Luke also tells us of an­other in­stance (Lk. 19:1-10). The ac­count of Zac­cha­eus who sought out Je­sus by way of climb­ing into a tree. 5. When Je­sus looked up he said, “I must stay at your house to­day ”…9. Je­sus said to him, “To­day sal­va­tion has come to this house, … 10. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

Two cases of Je­sus go­ing into the home of some­one in need. One, was phys­i­cally ill; the other, suf­fered from a spir­i­tual ill­ness, but the con­trast ex­em­pli­fies the uni­ver­sal na­ture of Je­sus – his mis­sion was to go into ev­ery home and, in ev­ery case, make a dif­fer­ence.

Peo­ple were trans­formed; that Je­sus took up res­i­dence in a way that the home would not be the same. And so it is that we might con­sider the ques­tion I posed ear­lier: Is Je­sus at home, in our homes? For if he is, we can be as­sured of heal­ing, as Je­sus has the power of God to bring His power into our lives in a way that we might be trans­formed.

Some, like Si­mon’s mother, may ex­pe­ri­ence phys­i­cal heal­ing; we’ve heard of peo­ple be­ing made well when peo­ple of their fam­ily or church have main­tained prayer vig­ils for them; that doc­tors can’t ex­plain it, ex­cept to say that it’s mirac­u­lous.

And though that form of heal­ing might be rare, we can know the heal­ing like that ex­pe­ri­enced by Zaachaeus. For his wasn’t a phys­i­cal ill­ness, but rather a sick­ness of con­science. A mal­ady of re­la­tion­ship – the ache that comes with un­for­give­ness; the sor­row that lingers in one who has hurt an­other with words. The mem­ory of a grudge held onto for too many years. Those are the things that we can all re­late to, can’t we?

When we al­low Je­sus to dwell with us – we can trust he will al­ways show up, for he has told us: Here I am! Open the door and I will come in.”

Je­sus of­fers us heal­ing; a trans­for­ma­tion; a new be­gin­ning, like mov­ing out of an old house and into a new one. And with new begin­nings comes the sec­ond thing that we find in a home in which Je­sus lives: Help; help for our­selves and oth­ers. In the case of Si­mon’s mother-in-law, in grat­i­tude she be­gan to help and serve. In the case of Zac­cha­eus, in grat­i­tude he was go­ing to help the poor.

With Je­sus in our homes we are called to help oth­ers, as he helps us. By serv­ing in his name we might help in many ways and hear “thank you!” or see grat­i­tude and know we’ve made a dif­fer­ence. In the home in which Je­sus re­sides we find heal­ing, we find a spirit of help­ful­ness and we find… Happiness. Look at Zac­cha­eus – we’re told that, of Je­sus, “he wel­comed him gladly.”

The home in which Je­sus re­sides should be a happy one. Happiness borne out of the re­al­iza­tion like that of Zac­cha­eus when he fi­nally al­lowed Je­sus to en­ter his home. Trans­formed, he sud­denly had the prom­ise that we all hold to.

That by al­low­ing Je­sus into our homes we will know happiness but, bet­ter than that, is the hope that we will some­day dwell with Christ in his home (John 14) 2. In my Fa­ther’s house there are many rooms…I am go­ing there to pre­pare a place for you.

The Good News. That if we al­low Je­sus to live in our homes and our hearts, we will know heal­ing; we will know what it is to be helped, and what it means to help oth­ers.

With Je­sus liv­ing in our home, it’s pos­si­ble to know happiness and it’s cer­tain we will know hope – bright hope for to­mor­row.

And so, let us think about th­ese things: Does Je­sus find a place in our homes; is the wel­come mat out front? Do we al­low him to fit in by the way we live and by the way we be­lieve? Is Je­sus at home?

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