16 September 2016
Reading: Ezekiel 40-41; Psalm 128; Revelation 21
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them." (Revelation 21:3 NLT)
I read this morning in Ezekiel 40-41 that Ezekiel was carried in a vision to Jerusalem where he saw a magnificent temple, a place for God to live among his people. John was carried by the Spirit to an unknown location and saw the New Jerusalem, descending out of heaven, God’s home coming down to where the people live.
One thing that’s clear in all God’s communication with us throughout the Bible is that God wants relationship with us—with people—and he makes the effort to facilitate that. God came to walk with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. God had Moses build a Tabernacle where he would dwell with his people in their wilderness journey. God chose a location in Jerusalem for a temple—God’s home among his people. God sent his Son to be one of us and to live among us. God sent his Spirit to live inside us.
As I read these chapters, I thought of the houses along my street. Then I thought about the various church buildings and campuses around the town I live in. I thought of the homes of all the Christ-followers scattered among the homes in each neighborhood in my hometown.
What would it be like if for every home of a Christ-follower and for every local church campus or facility it could be said: “Look! God has moved into our neighborhood! He lives just down the street from me! Jesus has moved in next door!”
I know that’s not exactly what this chapter is about, but it makes me think. Just a few years ago, Jean and I moved to a different house in a different neighborhood. I wonder if anyone here has any reason to think “God has moved into the neighborhood!” or “I wonder if Jesus moved in next door!”?
Father, Today I’m thinking about the fact that I’m a “practicing Christian” and yet in some ways, I’m not fully engaged in my neighborhood and my community. I’m listening. Is there something you want me to hear and understand? And do differently? Help me be part of “God moving into the neighborhood.” Amen.