"Home is a guardian of identity.
When its owners return from periods away,
on looking around them,
they remember who they are."
- Alain d Botton "The Architecture of Happiness
This past weekend I took part in Hillsong's Visions Sunday. And the whole theme of the weekend was home.
For some of us, the word home stirs negative feelings of pain, aloneness, fear and hurt. Some of us hate home and want nothing to do with it.
But for others, home conjures up warm feelings of joy. The same feelings we get when we snuggle into a warm blanket on a chilly night. It’s a place of comfort, where you can simply be.
And this description of home is what Hillsong church desires for every person to feel when they walk through their doors. The head of the household in this place is none other than the Lord and Creator of the universe. And all over the church are wonderful gestures to help us recall that Our Heavenly Father wants us to feel at home when we come into His home of worship. From a welcome "home" mat at the front door, to toothbrushes in the bathroom; all simple reminders that this is a place of refuge, a place of safety, a place of protection, a place called home.
And each one of us are an important part of God’s home. Ephesians 2:19-22 tells us:
You're no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He's using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he's using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.
God has a plan and a purpose for every single one of us, in this world, and in His home. If a brick from a home is missing it is not as sturdy, not as protected. Each of us needs to listen to God’s call on our lives, and follow obediently, thankful and humbled to be welcomed into the home of God, and wanting to be an active member in His home.
And these are thoughts I ponder often. God, while I am here in Sydney, Australia, how would you like me to serve in this world and in Your home?
Friend, if you don’t feel like you have a place to call home, a place where you can come as you are, no matter how damaged or broken. A place where you will be loved. A place where you will find peace, and comfort and protection from a violent world, might I encourage you to realize that God is inviting you in. He wants to welcome you, to make you part of His home.