“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20 ESV
“Hospitality is not to change people but to offer them space where change can take place.” Henri Nouwen.
Homecoming is a big deal where I live. It’s a little rural town, about 350 people, and eight-man football. It’s full of celebration with a band and parade and rousing cheers! We recently got stadium lights and so proud of this accomplishment. Just showing up at the game I feel welcome by the fanfare, camaraderie and single purpose. By the way, we were state champions in 2020. This may not mean home to you at your particular season of life but it’s so “homey” to me. Home changes as we change.
Not all homecomings are nice. Not all homecomings are cozy. Not all homecomings are affectionate. Not all homecomings are safe. Some invite us to their homes to show off material possessions or positions of authority. Some invite us to judge and compare. Some have a hidden agenda. Welcoming it’s not.
Some of us had a home that was full of turmoil, absent parents, rigidity, punishment, shame and worse. Who in their right mind comes home to that? Calls it home? Feels welcome? A roof over our heads, if we were lucky, place to sleep, eat, but home? It’s hard to be at home when it’s unsafe.
I had a grandma that taught me many things, welcomed me, played games, told stories and possessed warm hugs. She was safe. It was not my home yet it felt like it. Her 850 sq. ft home was built by my grandfather during the Depression. They did not have running water, electricity or heat then. Knowing their tremendous challenges, I am amazed. My grandmother taught me by her example how to be a grandmother. How to invite others with safety. Feeling at home.
Jesus makes a home in our hearts and our minds where we are safe, whether commuting, working, grocery-shopping or playing with the kids. We can tell him anything and everything. We might as well because he knows anyway. If we are truly at home, we are safe Others are safe. It’s not the latest TV, expensive food, glamourous trappings that make one safe. It’s the heart. Cliché but true. “Home is where the heart is.” Miraculous changes occur.
Notice that Jesus knocks. He does not force, cajole, shame, bully, preach, entice or threaten. He asks. He eats with us. He sets the standard. He’s home. Our eternal home. “We have passed from death to life.” He brushes away shame, fear, insecurities while affirming great love for us. Now. Eternally. Safe. We look forward to the final Homecoming where he wipes every tear from our eyes and gives us a crown.
Thank you that you’ve made your home in our hearts and like the Prodigal Son, we are embraced and welcomed by you for nothing. Help us to welcome others into my home and your home. Remind us that “we have entertained angels.”