It’s hard to believe we have been social distancing at home now for 11 weeks! With this focus on “home” maybe this is why I am noticing that in the gospels Jesus enjoys the company of different people... in their homes. When I stop to think about it, it delights me to think of Him in mine! When I dare to consider His pleasure in my hospitality, I sense His Holy Spirit inviting me to stop, tune into and celebrate His presence in me, with me. This practice helps me honor His “company” in our home even during this pandemic season.
He wants to be welcome and stay in my home like He did in John 1:38, 39 when He invited His friends to hang out there. That He stays with me in the person of His Holy Spirit is deeply heart-warming to me. Before the restrictions are fully lifted to others outside our family, He remains as my family's permanent guest of honour. He will never walk out or abandon me (Hebrews 13:5). That He is “at home” with me would really sink in!
In the gospel accounts, Jesus visited the home of Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha in Bethany more than once (Luke 10, John 11 & 12). I know He is in our home with us but I so want to pay Him more attention, make Him feel at home! Like Martha I can become preoccupied with doing and miss the opportunity to “notice” and attend to Him here.
Then there is Zacchaeus and his home. I am impressed with Zacchaeus who tossed his pride aside and climbed a tree just to see Jesus! He got so much more than he could have hoped for when Jesus said to him: “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today” (Luke 19:1-10). This man whom many despised responded with excitement and joy. Hosting Jesus gave Jesus the opportunity to save and transform. Zacchaeus surprised everyone by giving generously to the poor and to those whom he had cheated. Oh that I would treasure with excitement and joy Jesus’ presence and let Him change the way I treat others.
And what about the unnamed owner of the upper room? Jesus knew he would respond positively to the request for use of his guest room to celebrate the Passover (Luke 22:10). Perhaps that man was a follower of Jesus, like I am. I am surprised by this man’s generosity to let these friends from out of town use his home. This host didn’t know how significant that meal together would be. The conversation and prayer that took place around that table would enrich the lives of generations of Jesus’ followers including us.
It’s an honour to have You Jesus as my holy guest. Help me to find ways to honour you here and to let your presence be the Holy Spirit’s opportunity to keep changing me from the inside out.