Comment from Ken: Is my home, your home, a home for Jesus Christ? (Extra picture of Molly checking up on our painting outside.)
18And when Jesus saw great multitudes about Him, He gave a command to depart to the other side. 19Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.”
20And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
I’m here in my study on Thursday afternoon, and it is raining outside. I am rather grateful for the rain. First, I guess, I am grateful because here in New Hampshire we need the rain so badly. Many of the farmers have been hoping for rain, and our gardens show that a refreshing rain has been much needed. That is one of the reasons that I am happy it is raining; the other is because it is raining, I cannot paint outside. Dale and I have been painting our home, and I definitely appreciate having a day off from that task. My muscles in my arms and legs tell me it is good for them to have a rest.
What color are we painting our home? Red, of course! Dale and I both like a home that is painted red. This red is not as bright as the red on our former home in Attleboro; it is not a glossy paint, and it is more of a brown red. We both believe the right home painted that color looks beautiful in the autumn and in the winter. Where our home is a cape style, the red color is very befitting; that would not be the case if our home were a ranch style.
No, I’m not climbing a high ladder. We have a man and his company that is going to paint all of the peaks on our house and where we have a second story, but Dale and I are going to paint what we can easily reach standing on the ground and on a small scaffold. And yes, I am letting Dale paint some of the higher places. I’m trying at my age to get over that macho image.
What color is your home, or the place you call home painted? Have you ever thought of changing the color or wanting it to be a different color? Our present home was painted gray. We are very happy we are changing it to red.
I saw a fox the other day walking down the side of the road. He was pretty worn looking. He was not a bright red, but rather a wilting orange. As a matter of fact, he looked very shaggy.
On my dad’s farm, we had several beautiful red foxes. One day when I was walking in the lower meadow on my way home, I looked behind me and saw a fox – a beautiful fox with a long bushy tail, was following me. What a nerve, I thought, him being so brazen as to follow me. So I turned around and began to walk toward him. He started to walk back the other way. At that point, I turned around again and began to walk to our farmhouse in Barrington. Sure enough, I looked back, and he was following me again. So again, I turned around and began to follow him. He turned and headed for the woods; then again I turned homeward. Once more glancing over my shoulder, I saw Mr. Fox following, rather I thought, stalking me. This time I just kept walking to the farmhouse – he did not follow me to the door.
Now I have seen many wild animals and domesticated animals since moving to New Hampshire. Dale saw a bear the other day; I have never seen one of those outside of a zoo. Perhaps I will some day. Over and over again, I have seen deer, as many as seven in one field. I saw a fawn that was the tiniest deer I have ever seen. He or she had to have been born only a few days before. There are, of course, wild turkeys; I saw a partridge, and by the odor sometimes near our home is evidence of a skunk or two or three.
Thinking about that fox, I remembered what Jesus said about a fox recorded in Matthew Chapter Eight. “ Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath no where to lay his head.”
How terrible that would be not to have a home, no place to rest your head. I have a wonderful bed and a very soft pillow. At the end of a day when I am tired of painting, I can shower and get ready for bed. I approach that bed as though it is a sacred place. A lamp beside me, a glass of water, a mint for a dry throat and a light in the base of my lamp which remains on if I need to arise during the night. Beside me is my wife and both of us are weary at the end of a day of painting. As we rest our heads, we think for a few moments before we fall asleep what task we will approach in the morning. If it was not for that rest in our home at night, we could not continue to be at ease in the morning and do the work before us. At home, you are you. It is a place where you belong, where you can forget thinking, where people accept you as you are for they love you. At home, you feel secure, protected from the elements and from harm. Home is like the old saying goes, “ Where the heart is.”
Our Savior did not have a home where he was accepted and loved for he was a strangely religious man, a man with ideas that seemed to radical for others to follow. He spoke nonsense such as loving those who hate you and praying for your enemies. This Jesus was more than a little weird, and his family even tried at one point to keep Him from preaching. He had no permanent home where He was accepted as a worthy child of God. Our Jesus wandered from place to place, some people loving him and others believing he was a blasphemer and hypocrite.
How horrible it would be not to have a home where you were always welcome and felt at ease for you were home. What if you did not have a place to rest your head and become refreshed for the next day with both its joys and its problems? Jesus did not have such a place and this, my friend, is why this walk is so important. It is not a walk about the Fourth of July, it is not a walk about Father’s Day, which has passed, it is a walk asking you and me to give Our Lord Jesus Christ a home.
There is a beautiful picture of Jesus knocking at a door. I like to think He is knocking at your door and mine. In the cold of winter, the heat of summer, a rainy or snowy day, a day of beautiful fair weather Jesus stands at our door and asks to come in – to be a part of our family to be “home” with you and me.
Dale and I are working hard to make our home a beautiful place – we want it to look warm and inviting to others. We take pride in our home but what is most important is that our home be a welcome place for Jesus our Lord. And that is our prayer today –
Dear Lord, our home may be red or green or white or gray, but the color outside is only the outside of our home; come inside and feel the welcome we have for You our Lord and Savior. Come Jesus and live with us. Here You are welcome; here you are honored. Be with us in our homes that our lives might be blessed with Your wonderful teachings, and may You feel the abundance of our gratitude and love. Welcome home, Lord Jesus, our door is open.
“And now may the Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent one from the other. Amen.”