So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
1 John 4:16
Over recent months we have heard and seen harrowing stories of refugees fleeing from their homes in Ukraine. It has made me think about how terrible it must be to lose your home with all its comforting familiarity. One story particularly struck me; an elderly man had sheltered in the basement of his home in the countryside whilst shelling and bombing went on around. Once the onslaught had quietened down, he dared to go up the basement stairs and lift the hatch that would lead into the ground floor of his house. On opening the hatch, he saw, not the ceiling of his hall but sky. His whole house, which he had built over the course of his life, had been completely destroyed. I can’t imagine how utterly devasting this must have been.
Home can mean many things to us, but one simple definition is “the place where one lives permanently”. Home is the place where we build our lives, it’s our roots and hopefully our security. Where do we as Christians place our security, establish our roots and build our lives? In John 15.5, Jesus gives us clear direction on this when he says, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”. Remaining in Jesus is like making our home in Jesus, that through his incomprehensible love for us he is our permanent place to live.
When we look at the passage above from 1 John 4:16, we seen another amazing fact, that not only can we abide or stay in Jesus but he also stays in us. In 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, the apostle Paul describes the church as the body of Christ when he asked, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are” (NKJV). So let’s rejoice in the Spirit of God living in us today.
Heavenly Father, we thank you so much, that through the love and sacrifice of your dear son Jesus, we can make our true home in you and through the power of the Holy Spirit you live in us. Thank you for this amazing gift and help us to live today in the security of that truth. Lord, we lift to you all those who are fleeing war and violence, we ask that through your great mercy they will find security and comfort. Amen