Sunday, October 18, 2009

Home sweet home

"Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations." (Psa. 90:1)

Like the ancient Israelites, many of us who live in this country originally came from different lands. Many of our families have moved from one land to another land. Many have settled in one place for a generation or two, only to be uprooted for political or economic or other reasons in a subsequent generation. That's how our family and personal histories have unfolded in space and time.

In fact, that's the story of history itself. How people have peopled the earth. That's part of what makes history so interesting.

Indeed, the earth itself is a wonderful place worth exploring and appreciating. It's full of beauties for the eye and ear and more. And the universe itself is a marvel for the senses.

Yet, the universe and all it contains including the earth is not our home. If we could people the entire solar system, the Milky Way, and all the other galaxies in the universe, it would not be enough for us. If we could behold the untold beauties beyond our pale blue dot, it would not quench our thirst.

That's not because of the universe, but because of us. As large and as beautiful as the universe is, it is but a trifle in comparison to the measure of man. The universe is too small for us. For we were made for something greater. We yearn for it.

After all, we can appreciate the universe in the first place. What would the universe be without one who could appreciate it? What would we be if we couldn't appreciate it? We can discover its hidden treasures. We can create from its very depths. The universe supplies mathematicians with elegant patterns and formulas and scientists with scientific laws and discoveries as much as it supplies poets and writers with the stuff of poetry and literature. The universe supplies scenes for the painter's eyes, sounds for the musician's ears, food and drink for the chef's taste. But it is material which we can use and improve upon. Which we can form into something which is of an even greater glory than the original material. We can imagine greater things beyond the universe.

What's more, when we look at others, we realize each one of us is universe in himself. I mean there's more to discover in one person than in the entire cosmos.

On the downside, the world is a wearying place. It can quickly become a desert. As many beauties as there are to behold in the universe, most of us come to a point at which we realize that there's more emptiness than there is fullness in the universe. There's more darkness in the universe than there is light. There's more cold than there is heat. More silence than sound. We realize that life is the rare exception in the entropic universe which is gradually but inexorably decaying and dying. Like the atom, which mainly consists of empty space, so too the universe is largely tractless void emptying into more tractless void.

The universe is a lonely place. At best the earth is an oasis amid the desert wasteland of the universe.

Ultimately, we have no home. And what we do have is falling apart all around us. We're falling apart too.

Not so for the believer. Not so the one who has taken refuge in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who is his rock and fortress and ark of salvation. Not so for the one who has hidden his life with Christ in God.

Not so for the one who sees the Celestial City from afar, having acknowledged that he is a stranger and exile on the earth. For he seeks a better country, a heavenly country. He looks forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. And though God will shake not only the earth but also the heavens so that only those things which cannot be shaken will remain, and though the heavens will pass away with a roar and be dissolved, yet God has promised a new heavens and a new earth in which true goodness and holiness and righteousness dwells. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city, the New Jerusalem.

At present we have no place to lay our heads in this world. But Christ has promised that he goes to prepare a place for us. And if he goes and prepares a place for us, he will come again and will take us to himself, that where he is we may be also. We will be his people, and he will be our God.

It's a long journey home, but it'll be a well spent journey, though seven deaths lay between, when we reach Immanuel's land.

Or, as Augustine put it, we were made for God and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in him. Our hearts long and faint to be home with him. For, truly, he is our dwelling place. Our home sweet home.


  1. Keep posting such devotional blogs, they ARE being read and appreciated. I suspect not only by Christians, but by non-Christians who sometimes wonder about Christian motivation.

    Doing apologetics can sometimes lead to a filled head and an empty (or forgetful) heart. Thanks again for the posts...

    Here are three sermons I've benefited from time and again by Edward Griffin

    Enoch Walked With God


    When I Was a Child I Thought as a Child

    C.S. Lewis' existential masterpiece "The Weight of Glory"