Word for the Week
Short reflections on Bible passages, with a frontline focus...
David said it all:
I saw God before me for all time.
Nothing can shake me; he’s right by my side.
I’m glad from the inside out, ecstatic;
I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope.
I know you’ll never dump me in Hades;
I’ll never even smell the stench of death.
You’ve got my feet on the life-path,
with your face shining sun-joy all around.
ACTS 2:25–27 (MSG)
When we moved to our new house, we were very deliberate. We looked carefully, found parts of the city we liked, weighed up what we could compromise on and what was essential, balancing school access, transport, how close we would be to our friends and church, and what we had to spend. We watched carefully for anything that came up there. We chose the place we wanted to be – a place where we could flourish.
King David uses this beautiful phrase, ‘I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope.’ He’s found a way to flourish, and uses the image of building his home to show his commitment and the prosperity this decision brings. This image of ‘dwelling with’ God runs through the whole of Scripture, walking and talking with him and knowing his closeness.
Where we live shapes many of our daily actions, from the neighbours we bump into, to the way we get to work, or where we socialise. Similarly, choosing to live with God shapes our everyday decisions.
Building a home takes work. If we are to build lives founded on the hope we have in Jesus, we need to be consciously committed. We need the foundations of time in prayer and reading the Bible keeping us close to God. Praying that God would guide us and transform us as we build something remarkable.
Then, once you’ve built your home, there’s constant maintenance. Fixing the broken bits, cleaning the drains, and mowing the grass. Similarly, we face the daily decisions to do good work, to speak up for truth, to be people of grace. Persisting in the continual practise of loving, hoping, lamenting, and rejoicing, even when it’s hard. Recognising the intrinsic value of the work God has given us, paid and unpaid, as we join him in the work of creation and restoration.
Like scrolling house renovations on Instagram inspires my decorating, hearing testimonies of others’ faith inspires my discipleship. These stories build my faith, grow my hope, and help me to keep going. I love the dramatic stories of God doing the impossible, and the little stories of his grace in the everyday, in lives that are like mine – full of chores, people, and possibilities.
Let’s commit to building homes on God’s promises, where his radical invitation frees us to ‘be glad from the inside out’, radiating hope and joy. Let’s be people who build our lives on his unshakable hope.
Revd Jo Trickey
Church Advocate, LICC
Where do you need to do some ‘home improvements’ this week? Where do you sense the Spirit growing your hope? Join the conversation below.