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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Mary C. Earle

Tuesday, April 21

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.
—John 14:23

Way back in December, when the days grew long and the light grew dim, we remembered with joy the birth of Jesus. We remembered the Word made flesh, born in our midst, coming to dwell with us as a baby needing to be fed, diapered, burped, washed. And now, in this verse from the Gospel of John, we have a glimpse of yet another facet of God’s dwelling with us.

In the dark hours before his trial and crucifixion, Jesus is promising the disciples that he and the Father will come and dwell with them. He is promising the same to us. In the same passage, he later alludes to the coming of the Holy Spirit. The fullness of God dwells with humanity, seeking hospitality in our lives and in our souls.

Some years ago I led an Easter retreat in which we used this verse for reflection during our time together. I remember one participant who was upset by the possibility of God coming to seek hospitality within her. She declared she was not worthy. She was not ready. Her inner house was a mess. And here was the promise through Jesus that God would be coming to dwell with her.

The promised intimacy with God was not what she wanted or expected. Slowly, over the course of the three-day retreat, she moved from anxiety to gladness, and began to put out the welcome mat, so to speak.

Imagine creating space for this Guest within your soul, within your home, within your community. Take the risk of starting each day in hopeful expectation that the Guest will come to you in your daily round in one of his many different disguises—in the grocery store, in the school, in your office.

Know that God chooses to dwell with us, within us, through the gracious presence of the Risen Christ, in the power of God’s renewing spirit. Evermore, we dwell with him and he with us.

Come Risen Lord, and be our guest, in our lives and in our communities. Amen.