A HOUSE IS BUILT BY WISDOM, BUT A HOME IS BUILT BY
All but one of our four children have left home. One of my children owns their own home; another is paying theirs off, and the other describes herself as ‘homeless’ (albeit temporarily). However, whenever they come and stay with us, there is a tendency to refer to it as coming home.
¶ By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established;
by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
A ‘home’, of course, is distinguished from a house. A house is a building. A home is where you belong. And we all need to belong.
God settles the solitary in a home;He leads out the prisoners to prosperity,but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.
Belonging involves being together. This is why the common family space becomes sacred. This is the place where the family meets together, such as the dinner table. It is here that the family prays together, eats together, talks with each other, cooperates with each other, and serves each other.
¶ “When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be liable for any other public duty. He shall be free at home one year to be happy with his wife whom he has taken.
A home is where you can relax. FW Boreham was a pastor and a father of five children, who used to keep his shoes on at the dinner table if he was required to go straight out after dinner to attend to a pastoral duty. Each of his young children used to love finishing their dinner and then migrate into the lounge room with their father and climb up into his lap to enjoy one of his amazing stories. They knew, though, that if Daddy had his shoes on, there could be no lap-time story. But, whenever Pastor Boreham wore his slippers to the dinner table his children had reason to be excited for what would follow after dinner! Not only would their Daddy tell them a thrilling story (later, when they were older, he would read a classic book to them each night), he also gave them his undivided attention. Home is where you can relax.
Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
In one of his “Man Versus Wild” episodes, Bear Grylls stated that a good night’s sleep is more beneficial than a hearty meal. I cannot recall ever having a good night sleep whenever I have been camping, let alone the no-frills camping that Bear Grylls is talking about! If you’ve ever been travelling for an extended time, you’ll know what it feels like to come home and spend that first night in your own bed. Not only is home where you can relax, it is also where you can rest.
And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.
MAKING CHRIST OUR HOME
There are some beautiful parallels about what makes a home and becoming a devoted follower of Christ. In John 10, Jesus uses very homely language to describe a relationship with Himself. Being in a relationship with Christ is described as coming through a gate (Jn. 10:3) and entering into the home of the sheep, the ‘sheepfold’ (John 10:1). This can only happen if one enters through the correct ‘door’ — which is Jesus (John 10:7).
I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
It is when the ‘sheep’ (the follower of Christ) is placed in the sheepfold, their home, that they are safe from thieves and robbers (Jn. 10:8) and protected from wolves (Jn. 10:12). By implication, the one who comes to Christ experiences Jesus as their wall of protection from enemy forces and their roof of shelter from the elements of spiritual adversity.
¶ Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my King and my God.
The local church is the body of Christ and therefore, we, too, are to be a home and a family for those lambs and sheep that Christ, the Great Shepherd, places in our sheepfold. As we meet together each Sunday — like a family coming together for their mealtime — we come to the table to enjoy a feast of God’s Word. This is a home-moment where Christ’s people belong; can relax in God’s presence; find rest in God’s grace; and be strengthened by the love of God through their brothers and sisters. This Sunday, welcome home.
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