The Dwelling

It’s time to focus on the dwelling part of John 1:14: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen His glory.” I’ve read thousands of pages and truckloads of books about the incarnation, and not once have I heard any significant commentary on the fact that Jesus left His king’s palace in heaven and moved to the cheapest side of the tracks, brought Himself a little shack next to the rest of us, put a rocking chair on the front porch and a barbecue in the backyard, and became our neighbor. That’s big news, and we can’t move deeply into incarnated life unless we learn how to do “home” like Jesus did.

Christianity is an Eastern faith, and those in Eastern culture view social space much differently than we Westerners do. In Eastern culture, people let other humans get close. Families are often much larger, people share much easier, and therefore the concept of hospitality is much fuller than the West. Although we don’t mind putting out a few crackers and cheese, we tend to be more controlled and uncomfortable when people come into our space or overstay their welcome. Our homes, therefore, are much more a place of refuge and privacy than a tool for mission.

So let’s see if we can bring a little more Eastern into our Western ways.

There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days (Acts 28:7).

Gaius, whose hospitality I and the whole church here enjoy, sends you his greetings (Rom. 16:23).

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality (Rom. 12:13).

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing so some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it (Heb. 13:2).

We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the the truth (3 John 1:8).

Hospitality is not a fringe idea. In fact, as we watch Jesus, we can pick up on something He was trying to teach: that social space creates spiritual space. In other words, when people feel acceptance, they move toward God much more easily. This is why so many of Jesus’ stories happened in homes.

Regardless of the culture in which you live or your personal aptitude, introversion or extroversion, we all have a God-given ability to create a warm home. It may be tough to get started, but this is the perfect time of year to give it a go. And if you do, you will get to see just how much God will do right in your own living room.

Hugh Halter
Author of Flesh and Founder of Missio
Friend of Q Place