"In [God's] house, there are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare one for you?" - John 14:2
When I was young, I knew a family that was fanatically protective of their living room. The armchairs and sofa had plastic covers. The carpet was unblemished. The end tables were Pledged to an impossible sheen. The parents threatened mayhem to any kid who tried to go in there. Not a lot of living went on in that living room.
I've since learned that family wasn't unique. Apparently lots of parents enforced a rule about never entering the best room in the house. It was reserved for special company, and that wasn't their kids. To this day there are probably thousands of adults out there who routinely look warily over their shoulders before setting foot in a living room.
Harmless enough, I guess, unless you've also come to believe that it's normal to be confined to the kitchen, the basement, or the closet. That it's normal to be barred not only from the best rooms in the house, but also from the best parts of life. That it's not just living rooms you don't deserve to enter. That you're not special company, and never will be, ever.
By his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus entered every living room in God's house of joy and removed all the plastic, spilled wine on the couch, and tracked a little dirt across the rug. ‘There,' he said when he was done, ‘all prepared for the most special guests. Come in, all of you. Come in.'
Give me a ministry of invitation, gracious God. Let me help Jesus fill with cherished guests the living room of life.
Mary Luti is Interim Senior Pastor, Wellesley Village Church, Wellesley, Massachusetts.