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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Colliding with love

I'd like us to consider something today which may be a little "revealing".  Where do we feel most "at home"?  Now, stop just a moment to really consider this question.  Where is it - or with whom - do you feel the most comfortable, able to be the freest, and really can let your hair down?  Is it a place?  If so, what are the characteristics of this place?  Is it quiet, filled with comforting things like a warm rug, cup of coffee and a good book?  Is it a person?  If so, what is it about this person which makes you feel "at home" with them?  Now, let's look at what Jesus said to his disciples about being "at home".

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 15:9-10 The Message)

For a moment, consider "being at home" as coming into your place of residence.  You arrive after a day's work, or some venture out into the community to run your errands.  What do you do first?  For me, I put my purse on the hook, kick of my shoes, and then make myself even more comfortable by changing out of the clothing I wore to work into something I can really relax in.  Now, imagine you coming into the house with me right after we both got off work.  Would I do the same things?  Likely not.  Why?  Simply because you are a guest in my home - you don't live here.  So, I don't change - although I might kick off my shoes!

Why is it we acted differently when someone else was in our house?  Isn't it because we don't have the same level of comfort or "intimacy" with this individual?  Now, if mom was the one coming home with me, I'd go about my "regular" routine - simply because we have the level of comfort I am speaking about.

My thoughts gravitate to the "comfort" we have in the presence of our Lord.  I wonder if we invite him into our lives only at specific times, really not all that comfortable with him seeing us "as we are", but more as a guest in our home?  Truth be told, we might just treat him this way more than we know.  If we were really as comfortable in his love as he desires us to be, we would not hesitate to "let our hair down" with him.  Yet, in reality, how many of us struggle to be honest with him, fearing he might actually discover something we don't want him to know?

Jesus reminded his disciples that day so long ago of a very important point we should not miss this morning.  We "make ourselves at home" IN his love.  It is LOVE which makes us "comfortable" to be open and honest (our true selves).  Jesus also says we are "at home" in his love when we are keeping his commands.  Jesus actually gave very few "commands" - really two stick out above all the others.  They are to love God with our whole heart and to love our neighbors.  

Why are we "comfortable" with some places in our lives versus others?  It is because they have become familiar to us.  We are acquainted with the place because we have a "frequency" of association with the place.  Why are we more "comfortable" with some individuals than others?  It is because we have a frequency of association with them, as well.  How do we get comfortable with the love of God?  Isn't it by learning to turn our hearts to God more and more each day?  Isn't is also by learning to be embraced by his love?  

His commands have an "embracing" effect - they don't constrict as much as they "comfort" us.  They provide a place of security and safety.  When Jesus told his disciples to remain intimately at home in his love, he was not suggesting a casual acquaintance with him.  He was revealing the sustaining power of being "comfortable" being who we really are with him - not worrying about being judged harshly (as his grace is sufficient for even our biggest sin), or being rejected by him (as his love for us outreaches any imaginable "argument" to the contrary our minds can imagine).

As I was driving to work the other day, I listened to the words of a song.  The words described the "hurting" and the "healer" colliding.  There is nothing more than can be said about "coming home" to Christ's love!  It is there where our hurting and his healing "collide"!  The self-imposed stress, and the cares of this world, melt away when we "collide" with the love of Christ.  When two people "collide", what happens?  There is CONTACT!  So, if we want to get "more at home" in God's love, we need to make CONTACT with in more often until it becomes a place of "comfort" to us!  Just sayin....