Open your door to Jesus
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?