Sunday, February 18, 2024

Is your home a holy place?

Though some will immediately equate this title with behavior, I refuse to fall into that trap.  This is not about improving your personal righteousness so that you need Christ's less.  Holiness is never a matter of mere behavior and is always the one thing that will change even stubborn behavioral traits.  Holiness is where God is.  Where God is, there is holiness.  The sacred was never a matter of the space itself but who inhabits that space, what happens there, and from whom the direction of that space comes.  The church is a holy place not because it has been consecrated but because it is used for what it was intended, erected, and consecrated for -- God's service to us of His gifts by those who are appointed to distribute them and our response to His gracious favor.

As true as that is for a church building, it is no less true for the home.  The home is holy not because of the quality or quantity of devotions and prayers that rise up from that dwelling but because it is inhabited by those who are holly -- the baptized saints of God -- fulfilling their vocation as the Lord's own.  So husbands acting husbandly and wives acting wifely and fathers acting fatherly and mothers acting motherly and children acting childrenly is what we are talking about.  We serve the Lord where we are.  We serve the Lord by doing what He has called us to do and being the people He has called us to be.  The power of this engine is certainly not us but the Spirit of the Most High who dwells among us and in us through the means of grace.  We are not simply the baptized people of God at church.  We are His people by baptism and faith at home (and everywhere else we go).

Make your home a holy place.  Strive to serve your wife as worthy husband and not to make your wife worthy of you as husband.  Strive to serve your husband as worthy wife and not to make your husband worthy of you as wife.  Strive to be to your children the heavenly Father God is to us and not to mold them into what you want them to be.  Strive to bring your children into their spiritual mother, the church, by bring them to baptism, bringing them to the worship services of God's house, and catechizing them in the faith (and not leaving that up to others).  Make your home a holy place.  Strive less for a shining personal righteousness than to live in Christ the new life Christ has given you.  Nowhere is this life more profoundly manifest than in the essential vocations that belong to our lives and the character of our lives at home.  Underneath it all is this.  Forgive.  Forgive as you have been forgiven.  Forgive without counting the number of times or the cost.  Forgive because the cross ever stands as the cost paid to set you free from sin's curse and now you get to apply the fruits of that cross to others in His name.  Where forgiveness lives, surely Christ lives also.  Make your home a holy place.


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