2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16
Luke 1:46b-55 or Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26
Peace be with you!
When a person buys a new house and begins to make it their home by putting up pictures and unpacking their treasures, there is a sense of a new beginning and a sense of ownership. As a few of you know, Jerry and I have been moving into our new home this past week after living with my mom for two years. We are finally beginning to unpack our belongings, which have been in storage for two years. This has been like opening Christmas gifts all week! We are also enjoying being able to have our own space with our treasures. We can finally settle into our own lifestyle.
As Americans, we like having our own dwellings with the space to be ourselves. David is like us; he likes his rather large palace and his treasures. He decides to build God a house where he can settle and live. But God has other plans: God will establish a reign through David. His kingdom will go on forever. The Israelites will have a home in God.
Unlike David and us, God is too busy to settle down and be in one place. God is a million steps ahead of us. He plans our future and the future of the unborn for thousands of years. We cannot build God a home; he builds our home, our families, and our communities and networks…and he is doing it all over the world simultaneously. And it is not only for the Israelites, the Jews, or the Christians but for all people.
Now flash forward a few thousand years. God is still building a home for his people, but the Homebuilder now enters the world in an unlikely way: given birth to a virgin named Mary. God favors an unlikely individual (a woman) at an unlikely time (before marriage). All this time (way back with David) God had plans to continue David’s kingdom through the virgin Mary.
There is an idea: being favored by God. How can this be? For most parents with children with disabilities, being favored seems out of the question. The doctors told my parents I would never amount to anything. I have Cerebral Palsy, and the doctors said I would never sit up, stand, walk, or talk. As Jerry says, I love giving my desertions. I work out with a personal trainer twice a week. I sit up independently and walk with assistance, though I do prefer my electric wheelchair to get around in. Society does not embrace differences. Some parents become embarrass when their children want ask me questions or point at my wheelchair. Or some people get nervous when I take the bus or fly alone. Last time I flew with a friend and the people who brought my electric wheelchair up from below the plane were amazed I knew how to reengage it, so I could drive away. My friend simply said, “It is her electric wheelchair. She better know how it works, because I do not.” The parents with “normal” children are the favored ones, because they do not have to fight for their child’s rights everyday.
But these parents and children are favored if only by the claim to being God’s children. God never said life would be without struggles. Some days I am like Mary: “really God, how can this be!?!” That’s right: it took Mary a few moments to accept the fact that she was a virgin with child – God’s son, no less. Take a moment to be Mary – feel the shock, the unbelief, the acceptance, and the charge. Imagine what it would be like to be told that you are in charge of carrying and raising God’s child. What a heavy responsibility—and yet, what an amazing blessing.
In my experience as a person with a disability, I have found that I daily walk through the journey of shock, unbelief, acceptance…and the unexpected blessings of my unique call. I see God’s blessings where others see disappointments. My best friend, Nathan, all through elementary school and high school had a disability where he grew weaker as he got older. At times, it was depressing to watch Nathan become unable to move around on his own or talk without needing a communication device, which was difficult for him to use. Nathan was also my impression. His facial expressions could tell a story. Whenever I wanted to give up, Nathan would give me the “oh fudge, if you are going to give up” look. Nathan always had a smile on his face and would begin laughing at anything; he saw the beauty in life. Society may have seen Nathan as a vegetable, but I saw him as a person who found the blessings in life. As I walk through this journey, I find myself hearing the challenge to be God’s voice in a society where the unknown is unwelcomed. I pray God the Father uses my gifts to build his house and to bring others in a relationship with him.
Come, oh Lord, come.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for building us a home to gather. Help us to welcome others into your home and to use the gifts you gave us for your will. Thank you for gathering us as your people. Amen.
Triune God – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Special thanks to Rebecca Miller for her amazing editing skills and ability to fill in the gaps, especially this week.
Please answer the following reflective questions in the comments below. Please agree to disagree and be respectful to each other. (If you have not already done so, please also take a moment, to sign the comment.) You can answer as many questions as you would like.
1. Are there times in your life when you have felt spiritually “homeless”? What brought you out of this time?
2. In what ways have you experienced Christ as a Homebuilder—and as a Home?
3. Is there someone in your life who is feeling “homeless” that you could introduce to the Homebuilder? How could you do this?