What If My Heart Was A Shelter For The HOMELESS God?

I went to a worship service where the pastor preached his compelling homily after which he asked the assembly to bow our heads and anyone needing salvation could raise their hand.  Then he instructed us to “invite Jesus into [our] hearts.”

Did you catch that?

He told us we needed to INVITE JESUS INTO OUR HEARTS.

Not a bad idea (I’m thinking).  Yes.  We do need to invite Jesus into our hearts.

And so I got to thinking about how Jesus claims, in Matthew 25:31-46, that he is the “least of these brothers” in need of food, drink, shelter and charitable care, about how Jesus says, in Revelation 3:20, “Behold!  I stand at the door and knock.  If you open up to me, I will come in and party with you!”

And then I got to thinking about how my church serves the poor and needy homeless of Lubbock.  Not by taking Jesus in, not by inviting him into our worship, not by inviting him into our church building for shelter and rest, and not by accepting him in our fine homes with guest rooms that go empty night after night.

No.

We may invite him into our “hearts,” but we don’t invite him into our homes or our place of worship or our personal space hardly at all.

No.

We invite the homeless (and thus Jesus himself) to go to the homeless church that meets across town.

We are quite sacrificial about it, to be sure!  We are collectively one of the major financial supporters of that ministry.  And we are quite creative about it too!  One of our leaders runs a fancy coffee shop with all the baristas and ambiance you come to expect in a fancy coffee shop, and a portion of the profits from the coffee is sent to invite Jesus (the least of these brothers) over there across town at the homeless church too.  (It’s quite an impressive operation.)

But is that really inviting Jesus into our hearts?

And this got me to thinking…

What if Abe and Sarah (Genesis 18, if you wanna look this up) had seen the three Strangers walking by and run out to get a cup of coffee at a high end coffee shop so as to play their part in hosting these three Strangers at the shelter across town???

If Abe had done that, then he would not have told Sarah to prepare 3 seahs (about 33 gallons in the English measure system) of fine flour and bake bread for his guests, and would not have even met these men face to face.  The Angels would not have affirmed God’s promise to Abe that a son was about to be born, and Sarah would not have had the chance to laugh.  And then, the writer of Hebrews would not have included that fantastic little verse in 13:2 where we are instructed: “Do not neglect to show hospitality, for some have entertained angels unaware.”  And thus, finally, they would not have invited Jesus (God) into their hearts.

Is that the way you WANT this Bible story to read?

What if the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24, if you wanna look this up) saw a Stranger walking along the road going the same way and instead of joining up with him, they turned their heads, rolled up the window, locked the door, and drove on down to the coffee shop instead?  They might feel more safe, but they would not have shared their hearts with the Stranger they met walking along the road?  They would not have invited Jesus in to stay with them when they arrived home.  He would not have taken the bread and blessed it, and their eyes would not have been opened, and they would not have told their friends back in Jerusalem about how their hearts had been burning within them as this Stranger opened the Scriptures up to them.

Is that the way you WANT this Bible story to read?

Do you really think that just because you drive over to the white-flight side of town to worship on Sunday and eat a tiny pinch of cracker and drink a tiny thimble-full of grape juice that you have dined with Jesus?

REALLY???

Please explain.

In this world God made, he built a place for himself to live: YOUR HEART.  And if he is not there, then God is a HOMELESS God within his own creation.  A HOMELESS Carpenter.  And he is knocking.

Behold!  I stand at the door and knock.  If you open up, I will come in and eat with you.

(I think I read that somewhere.)

 

One comment

  1. T. F. Thompson · July 11, 2019

    At times, I think we invite people into our minds, but it goes no further. At this junction it even escapes our hearts altogether. Pain and suffering is something that Americans abhor and attempt to avoid if at all possible. The sad truth is: if Jesus were on LET’S MAKE A DEAL he wouldn’t be welcome at all. There would be some exceptions, however. We’d love Jesus if he told us the lotto number or some other quick deal that would make us rich. In fact, in an event like that we’d even be welcome in high places to include many televangelists. This is a shame, of course and the only time a beggar or bum makes it is on Youtube when they can sing or perform some other circus trick. As normal people, no we stand away from those kind as we don’t want to be associated with THEM. That’s where Group-ism is our savior. Identity politics is the name of the game and naturally, we hate the rich until we become one of THEM. And that is where THEM becomes US.

    Like

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