It was a shock when my mother finally moved out of the old family home last year. It was large, a bit isolated and too much to manage for her, and a move closer to family made sense. But it was still a shock! Mainly to my mother, who has had to try and make a new home and new life. In a smaller way, to her sons too, as we said farewell to the place where we grew up and where fond memories were built.
If home is where the heart is, then the places and people, memorabilia and memories that. are precious to us all make up our ‘home’. Home is where we rest and live in community; where we accumulate possessions that mean something to us; where we rest, eat and recuperate; ultimately where we define our identity.
Jesus as a young boy, had a dawning realisation of who he was – the Son of God – and what was precious to him – His Father and His kingdom. In Luke 2v49 Jesus said ‘didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?’ Jesus was in the place that was most identified as hosting the presence of God. And yet, even as he sat there amongst the religious leaders, Jesus was aware that He would be the temple, embodying the presence of God amongst people. The Father’s house is the place where we gaze on His beauty and majesty, and where we grow in wisdom as we share His heart about our lives and the world we live in.
That longing is in my heart at the moment; the need to be in the Father’s house. It is a desire growing in the heart of Christians all over the world. Our house of prayer had unbroken 24/7 prayer for a year in 2012. I helped to lead it, and was faithful in prayer, but often in a sense of faithful duty. And yet, as 2013 has dawned, I have found to my surprise a new longing unlocked in my heart – a longing for God and to seek His face more intensely than I have know before. I need to in my Father’s house and I need my heart to be a house of prayer. I need to become naturally at home in His presence and supernaturally embodying His life in me wherever I go.
Jesus calls for us to keep watch for His coming and to be wise stewards of His kingdom (Matthew 24v42&45). The values of the Father’s house are reciprocated in the house of the watchful and the wise in the end times. That is the place of revelation, wisdom and understanding. If we want to become intimate in prayer with God and alert to His ways, then we must cultivate a familiarity with His house and presence. We must be the watching ones and wise ones, ready for His return and walking closely with Him, so that many others can be introduced to Him.
Where is home? I must be in my Father’s house.