“Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise.”  Psalm 84:4  

“In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.”  John 14:2  

I remember a tiny old chapel on a winding road in Italy.  The little chapel, God’s house, was dark but for many candles, lit by visitors who stopped in to remember and pray.    What did they say to God?  Praise?  Confession? Intercession?  Cries?  God’s house is indeed a very big house, with many dwelling places.  

During this season of busyness and spending, it seems right to stop and think about those with no halls to deck, those who are sick, in prison, shelters, under a freeway overpass.  The verses today may be of little comfort to those needing a dwelling place NOW. 

The very Lord who spoke of his Father’s big house, was born into humble circumstances.  When Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem, boarding houses were full.  They stayed in an outbuilding where Mary gave birth to a baby, our Lord and Savior.  When the life of their little boy was threatened they fled as refugees to a strange land.  As an adult, this same Lord befriended misfits and showed compassion toward those with disabilities.  Jesus, today, would spend time wandering shelter hallways, walking about under bridges, just as he sits at my table.  He would visit every room in his Father’s big house.  

Many of our ancestors came to a new land with little but determination, living in crowded urban tenements, dugouts carved into riverbanks.  We are grateful for trust passed on generation to generation.  Wherever our dwelling place, the promise from Jesus to prepare a room for us is sure, and it is for all.

Dear Jesus, I am grateful for the blessing I call home.  Your house is indeed very big … with many rooms and room for many.  Give me a spirit of hospitality and welcome to all I meet.  Help me see ways to help those in need of house and home.   Amen  

Verla Olson