Interestingly, before 2020 happened and COVID hit, our church was in the middle of a series called, Take Home Faith. Isn’t that crazy? The series was all about how faith on Sunday morning isn’t enough and is not at all what God is calling us to. Faith that transforms our lives and influences others has to be a day-by-day pursuit, a moment-by-moment experience.
In other words, faith is a lifestyle that begins at home.
In his message Take Home Church, the pastor shared a powerful message on the power of church at home and the opportunity we have to be the church to our family and neighbors.
My mind started thinking about how much of Jesus’ ministry actually happened in houses!
I thought of this verse in Luke: When Jesus got to that place, he looked up into the tree and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry on down, for I am appointed to stay at your house today!” (19:5). Jesus had a divine appointment at Zacchaeus’ house. Not only was his home the chosen gathering place for Jesus and the disciples, the place for ministry, but I believe this was also an appointed time for Zacchaeus’ family and household.
Jesus often ministered to whole families. He cared about the kids, the parents, even the grandparents, everyone! His promises, his vision, his plans included the entire family.
This is still true today, and even more apparent as we are now doing more life together than we have before. (I realize this is not necessarily true for some of you. Some were already homeschooling or had kids at home. Some are retired already confined, er I mean overjoyed to spend every day with your spouses!) But for the majority of people in our culture, this is a significant shift.
How you experience church has changed significantly as well. The family now worships together, or at least has the opportunity to. No more, parents one way and kids another. Or perhaps your whole family didn’t even go to church together. Maybe you went alone, if you did go.
Now, Jesus is coming home with you. He is coming into your closest relationships, your messiest, most lived-in places. (Stuff is about to get real…as they say!) And he is coming on purpose, with a purpose. He wants to extend his ministry, his miracles, his life to every person in your household.
This is awesome. And scary at the same time. Sometimes it’s easier to keep church and home separate. Sometimes we like the people we are at church better than the ones we are at home. Perhaps there is more joy, more focus, more hope; maybe we feel more love and connection there than we do in our own homes. (umm, we can come back to that one…!)
Simply said, I think Luke 19:5 applies to us today. THIS is an appointed time; for our homes, for our families. He has a plan in the midst of the pandemic! Zacchaeus’ life changed that day. His family changed that day because Jesus came home with them. Maybe he wants to use this time to do the same for us?