In the book of 2 Samuel, God asks a powerful question to King David, “Are you the one to build me a house to live in?” This passage is referring to David who feels guilty because he is living in a luxurious palace while the ark of God resides in a dusty old tent.
It bothers the young king because he believes God is the one who deserves the better home. I once read that “One of the most fundamental of human mistakes is to think we can do God a favor.” Who am I to build God a church? Am I to domesticate God?
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to build God a house. Many people, like Gaudi, have taken it upon themselves to do so. It seemed like wherever we went in Spain there was a church, and in some instances there were churches next to other churches. I imagine this is where Starbucks got the idea. My cousin Brian believes the ancient Spanish only did two things…built churches when they weren’t going to them.
I believe the point David seemed to miss, and perhaps it's one many of us still miss today, is that God doesn’t need to dwell in buildings…because choses our hearts to build his home.
In her book Anna and the French Kiss, Stephanie Perkins writes, “For the two of us, home isn't a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.” Taking a little creative liberty, that person for us, as Christians and as the church, should be Christ.
Through the person Jesus, God moves in; knocking down the walls so the true light within us can shine like a beacon from heaven for others to be led back to God’s glory and find peace. Christ reframes our heart, so God can remodel the world.
If we look at Paul’s letter to the Ephesian home churches, we could argue that Jesus’ mission could be summed up in one word: Reconstruction.
As we just heard, “Jesus created in himself a new humanity, making peace among enemies reconciling both groups to God.” Reconciliation, unity, and peace, these are the building tools and materials God uses to reframe and reconstruct us in Jesus Christ.
The bible tells us that Jesus willingly came to be with us, to give his life over as a sacrifice so that our sins are forgiven, our hearts are made pure. In essence, Jesus prepares a place within us for God to dwell.
Even those who were estranged from God are now united in God’s love by what Jesus Christ did for us all. There is nothing stronger or more powerful that God’s love; which tear down the walls of fear, racism, nationalism, anger, resentment, jealousy, and anything else that keep us from being united as children of an all-loving God.
Standing together in Jesus Christ, our hearts begin to shine brightly and our spiritual houses begin to overflow with the Spirit of peace simply because God has moved in and unpacked all this abundance of heaven within us.
Yet for some strange reason we love our walls. For some they are physical walls and barriers. For others they might be mental and spiritual walls that trap you.
In today’s divisive political climate, we see how our walls allow us to control who comes in and who’s left out. Have we forgotten the joyous feeling that spread across the world when the German people were reunited as the Berlin Wall came crashing down?
Paul emphatically states, “Christ is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall.”
It’s been argued that strong walls make for more peace. When my brother and I were younger, we shared a room. As you might imagine, this was not always ideal. At one point our fighting got so bad that my mom created a dividing line out of tape. He got one half of the room. And I got the other. While this settled some of our issues, it didn’t really do much for keeping peace in the rest of the house.
But God didn’t choose to be divided from us. Instead, through Jesus, God desires to be bound to us…to be nailed to us even. God chooses to live with us even in our messiness, and uses it not to separate us but instead to leads us towards peacemaking and reconciliation. This is why it’s called the Good News!
As I sat on their sofa and looked out onto the Spanish skyline, I realized that the walls we create only hide the beauty of God’s love. Why would we want to do that? God’s love is to be given away as freely as it has been given to us. It’s how we reconcile with our enemies, become one with one another, and find our true peace within and all around us.
Through Jesus, God took a sledgehammer to our old shelf and began to measure, cut, and reframe our hearts and minds into our new, true self.
Through Jesus, we receive the assurance that God is our support beam, taking on the load of whatever weight we might be carrying.
Through Jesus, God becomes one with us so that we can be a picturesque view of heaven where others can come to see the beauty of God’s love and peace within their own heart.
After all, as that old saying rings true, home is where the heart is. Which is why I invite you to unlock the door to your heart and welcome God home.
has been blogging under the name: Jesus not Jesús: Looking for Christ in the face of strangers. You can read his posts and browse his archives by clicking here.
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