Good morning all! Hope you are well!
Today’s scripture: Jeremiah 30:18-22 (NRSV)
Thus says the Lord:
I am going to restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob,
and have compassion on his dwellings;
the city shall be rebuilt upon its mound,
and the citadel set on its rightful site.
19 Out of them shall come thanksgiving,
and the sound of merrymakers.
I will make them many, and they shall not be few;
I will make them honored, and they shall not be disdained.
20 Their children shall be as of old,
their congregation shall be established before me;
and I will punish all who oppress them.
21 Their prince shall be one of their own,
their ruler shall come from their midst;
I will bring him near, and he shall approach me,
for who would otherwise dare to approach me?
says the Lord.
22 And you shall be my people,
and I will be your God.
I will be the first to admit to you all this morning that housing is on my brain. Right now it happens to be pretty constant about what it means to be in a dwelling and for God to bless that dwelling in my brain. I wasn’t going to mention it at all today but here is the passage in Jeremiah about a new kind of community built on God’s dwellings. Out of that blessing of tents and communities of compassion on those dwellings, comes everything else.
There will be merrymaking because God has blessed the dwellings.
Community will thrive because dwellings have been established and God is creating the community.
A prince of the community will come out of those dwellings.
And God will be present on this spot where all are in blessed dwellings.
This really got me to thinking this morning about different places we dwell and what it takes to build up the community out of those dwellings. At the church, we are finding that after a few weeks of stability in a tent (not even a space with four walls but something much less permanent), the person starts to see value in self. We see people starting to realize that with a bit of stability, they can relax the survival skills a little bit to see around self….the person starts to take pride in making sure things are clean and they are contributing. At that point, all of these folks have realized, “oh hey, what can I do to progress out of this situation.” Community and betterment has been coming out of dwellings, a little bit of stability.
I know…you are getting a bit tired of this subject….BUT I started to really think about what that means for us who are already in dwellings, spread out all over the place, and yet still blessed by God. Our tents aren’t as near but the call to take care of our space around us and each other is still as great. Dwellings look differently to different people. They offer stability and space for value. Hopefully, the don’t insulate us though from the tents around us. We need each other. Dwellings reflect pieces of our self and when we can have that reflection, many of us get antsy to re establish space. Why? Because it represents a piece of who we are and who we belong to. They also call us to remember those who are without. Could you imagine being without? Where would you host and dine with others? Where would you place that special picture? Where would you put your stuff and show pieces of you?
What does your dwelling look like? Today I might just walk through places where I dwell and say a blessing over them. Out of these dwelling (places I dwell and reside) are who I become and where I meet God and neighbor. Walk through a room and just bless that space. The space is sacred. Then shoot up a prayer for those who dwell more in intermittent spaces. Hopefully this will connect us even more closely.