As some of you know, my family and I have started looking for a permanent home in Mount Airy. In many ways, of course, that has been a lot of fun. It’s exciting to see new places and to dream of what you might do with a house once you moved into it. But the process has also been more than a bit frustrating—as I’m sure you can understand. After all, there are so many questions to ask: Is this a neighborhood where our little girl will find friends? What structural or mechanical problems might be hiding behind these freshly painted walls? Can we afford this? Then there are the “close-but-not-quite” scenarios: If only this house had another bathroom. If only the closets were a little bigger. Then, too, there are those occasional houses that you walk into and think, “Oh my…what were they thinking?!”
I can’t help but wonder if similar thoughts run through Jesus’ mind when he thinks about making his home in us—both as individuals and as a church. After all, the Bible does say that “we like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5). Does Jesus get excited dreaming about all the things he might do with us if our hearts became his home? Does he agonize over all the questions there are to ask: Is this a place where my children will be welcomed? What problems are hiding behind this well-kept facade? Does he, too, encounter “close-but-not-quite” scenarios? If only she would let me heal her of this pain? If only he would turn this sin over to me? If only they would be more passionate about my mission? Are there even occasions when he steps in—eager to find something great—and ends up saying, “Oh my…what were they thinking?!”
Bob Bennet is a Christian singer/songwriter who gives us some insight into the “house hunting Jesus.” In a song titled, “You’re Always Welcome Here,” he writes…
Lord, I hear you knocking. You’ve been knocking at the door.
How long have you been waiting? Seems I never really heard You before.
I’ve kind of let the place go; I’m ashamed of what You’ll find.
But You can make yourself at home, if You’re sure that you don’t mind.
‘Cause when I cry, the roof leaks. And when the wind blows, the walls are weak.
But a house is known by the company it keeps.
And I feel better, now that You’re near. And I want to make it clear:
Jesus from now on, You’re always welcome here.
I’m sure that my family and I will eventually find a house, and I do ask for you to pray for us along the way. But maybe even more, I hope you’ll pray that Jesus will find a home in me…in you…and in the family that we call Calvary Baptist Church—because the good news of the Gospel is that our Savior longs to make his home in us. And I pray with all my heart that He’ll always be welcome here.