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Our Home-making God
Into the midst of our anxiety and alarm we are offered a vision of a glorious future filled with promise—the promise that God will make a home with us. This is a promise of an ultimate future home—a New Jerusalem!—but also a promise of God’s daily home-making presence in the hearts of all who believe. Paul has a vision of a cry for help from Macedonia, and his beloved church at Philippi is founded in the home and household of Lydia. In Revelation, John, turning from the lake of fire, is carried up in a vision and sees the New Jerusalem coming down, centered on the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. But no longer is there separation from God, weeping, or mourning, but now a restored creation where God and God’s people are at home together. Jesus promises that though he is going away, he will come to his disciples in the power of an advocate, the Holy Spirit, and that both he and the Father will make their home in all who believe. The gathering of the faithful assembly to receive Christ’s word and sacrament is a foretaste of that New Jerusalem, where God will finally and ultimately be at home with us, even as the Holy Trinity makes a home now in the hearts of all who believe. Into the anxieties and uncertainties of our everyday life we are offered both a vision of a glorious future when God will be at home with us and we will be at home with God, and a living foretaste of that same future: “We will come to them and make our home with them. . . . Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (John 14:23b, 27a).
Gospel: John 14:23-29
As Jesus talks of returning to the Father, he promises to send the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who will teach Jesus’ followers and remind them of all that Jesus taught. Even more, those in whom God makes a home will experience a peace that overcomes fear.
23Jesus answered [Judas (not Iscariot),] “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.
25“I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. 28You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.”