In His Father’s House
Open Your Bible
Matthew 2:1-23, Luke 2:39-52
BY Bailey T. Hurley
Many great love songs weave in the theme: “I want to be where you are.” This posture of safety, love, comfort and content in the form of a person is a beautiful sentiment. For many of us, we have experienced a parent, a friend, a spouse or even a place that has felt like a healing balm for our souls. The physical meeting place of the church, even as a teen, has always been a favorite sanctuary of mine. Whether I was hiding in the choir pews during a middle school lock-in or practicing for the Vacation Bible School play, the church building felt like a second home to me.
But it wasn’t just the building, it was the people. The church is where my faith was nurtured and challenged because it is within the safety of people who love us where we can truly explore who God is and how God has made us to be. There were peers, mentors and Bible teachers who opened my eyes to see more of God’s love through the pages of the Bible.
Jesus also found wisdom in the house of God. As a twelve-year-old kid, He gravitated towards a council of teachers in the temple to learn and commune with them (Luke 2:46). His parents were frightened, thinking they had lost Him. Like most parents, their nature was to protect and care for their son. When they found Jesus, He said, “Why were you searching for me?”…“Didn’t you know that it was necessary for me to be in my Father’s house?” (v.49). Father’s house? But Joseph was His father. I can see why His parents were confused.
But for Jesus, His place was in His Father’s house. In the presence of God and God’s people is where Jesus read God’s Word. This experience began the next phase in Jesus’s maturation into the person we know Him to be: “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people” (v.52).
Maybe we lost our safe place over the years due to circumstances outside of our control or complicated relationships. Or perhaps, we have grown cold to the beauty of being in a community of believers. The wonderful thing about Jesus is that He gave us the gift of having sanctuary whenever and wherever we are. Through the Holy Spirit, we have God in us, a sweet communion that feels like home. We don’t have to find the perfect place or person to make us feel whole because we can experience it through Jesus. God has made His home within us.
And when we have found our safety in Jesus, then we can create a safe place for others. We can sit amid friends reading God’s Word and growing in wisdom together, like Jesus did that day in the temple. Following our longing to be wherever God is, we will find our home with the Father.
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This warms my heart.
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