The truth is, I am actually a home-body. I love adventures and traveling, I do, but I love my time at home. Ever since leaving my parent’s home and moving away to college, I have had almost 10 homes or apartments since entering adulthood. As I have occupied them for as little as a year and as long as four years, each one has a different size, location, pros and cons, but I have made my home in each. (I guess this is a learned trait as an itinerate pastor). While I love traveling and exploring with my children, our pace has changed a bit lately. As they grow and life gets busier and busier, I am learning to be content much more with our valuable time at home. Time that we can enjoy each other, play with our toys, create new worlds, clean and organize our reality and entertain loved ones. There is something so holy about a home and how it feels to belong to one.
As I process the Scripture from Sunday and the way it changes who I am becoming, I enjoy reading this Scripture John through a different version. Here is a portion of that Scripture from The Message.
5-8 “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.
9-10 “I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love. John 15:5-10
While the sermon focused on remaining in God and showing our love not to earn God’s love, but because of it, this thought of “making myself at home in his love” really resonates with me. Think about that for a minute. How do we make ourselves at home in God’s love?
Well, how do you make yourself at home in your home? For me, I am most comfortable in my pajamas, or my comfy clothes. I kick off my shoes and wipe the day off of my face. If I am awarded those rare, calm moments, my legs are up on our couch or I’m snuggling with my kids or reading a book with them on my lap. In our house there is usually singing and noise and one talking over the other, there is clutter and playdoh pieces, Legos and half-finished drawings. There is unfolded laundry, books scattered all over and beds always unmade. This is what it means to feel at home for me.
How do you make yourself at home? And how does that translate into you remaining in the True Vine? Are you comfortable and relaxed, or are you all dressed up and ready to perform? Are you bare in your clutter and messes and disorganized thought, or do you feel the need to clean up quickly as if guests are coming over? Do you spend time and just BE in the presence of Christ by loving those God has blessed you with or are you always wanting more?
If remaining in God is about making ourselves at home in His love, then we look to Jesus for the example. We see his vulnerability, trust, openness and deep need to connect to His Father. Over and over again we see Jesus at home in God’s love through their intimate connection and relationship. And we are invited to do the same. What would it look like if you approached your relationship with God like you do your own home? What would have to change in you to reach that level of comfort and vulnerability? As we near closer and closer to Jesus’ final week on earth, what is one way that you can tweak your relationship with God that feels more familial and more at peace as you grow?
May God add God’s blessing to the reading and the meditating of these words.