“See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” 2 Sam. 7:2
Earlier this year, my sister-in-law sold her large house in a quiet family neighborhood and moved to an apartment in downtown Minneapolis. The first time I went to visit, she met me in the lobby. It was very bright, modern and hip. Moved by the contrast from her old place, I started to sing the theme song to The Jeffersons. “We’re moving on up, to the east side, to a deluxe apartment in the sky.” I may have even called her, “Wheezy.”
The move was part of a broader transition in life. One person living in a large house can feel lonely and burdened. The apartment placed her in a more intimate setting with neighbors. The size of it made it much more manageable. However, there was no denying; the new place is a very fun, vibrant, hip place to be living. The Jefferson reference was not without merit.
Later, she shared with us that one of her neighbors played for the Minnesota Vikings. He was a rookie living a glamorous life. I don’t know the player personally, and neither does she, but he has obviously made it. Less than one percent of all high school seniors playing football will play in college. Only .2% of all college football players will make it into the NFL. Regardless of how this rookie performs, he made it and has the deluxe apartment to prove it.
When I was a child, Saturday morning cartoons were interrupted with commercials promoting Barbie’s Dream House. They suggested it was the dream of every young girl to live in a house like hers. You may not buy into the propaganda of Mattel, Inc., but most people do have a dream house in their minds. Part of that dream is a style and a location. The vision, though, is anchored in security. A house provides protection and comfort, a sense of belonging and a feeling of accomplishment.
For David, life has settled down, and he can afford to build a dream house. He can rest now and wants to provide a place of rest for God. However, the Lord knows what David has yet to perceive; a house can only offer so much protection. A fractured world can make even a house full of life feel lonely.
Unfortunately, the challenges of life, those things which threaten our physical and emotional security, do not cease their attack once we’ve found a home. They continue to pursue us. It is then, the heart which yearns for healing looks beyond our walls for the presence of God to enter in. I think of this every Christmas when we sing, O Little Town of Bethlehem. Especially the last verse, “Oh, come to us, abide with us, Our Lord Immanuel!” May Christ abide with you this Christmas and throughout the coming year.
Click to read: 2 Samuel 7: 1-16
- What is your dream house?
- The house you live in now, do you love it, or, do you want to list it?
- How does your house reflect your life?
- What part of your life do you want Christ to come and abide in?