Interesting connection in my reading today.
In Matthew 8, Jesus talks about the cost of following him as he responds to a religious teacher who said he would follow Jesus wherever he goes.
Jesus’ reply is, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” Jesus had no permanent home. In that sense, he was lower even than the animals.
Jesus made the point that there is a cost to following Him. The scribe who said he wanted to follow Jesus wherever He went was not considering the lifestyle Jesus led. Jesus was functionally homeless; He and His disciples stayed in the homes of those who would take them in. The scribes were among the wealthier citizens. It was as if Jesus were saying, “Are you sure you want to be homeless with Me?” He wanted the scribe to truly count the cost of what he was proposing.
His followers are sojourners. Pilgrims. It comes with a cost. Some followers will live out of suitcases for months on end, with no change on the near horizon.
Are you sure you want to be homeless with Me?
Those are words that I have read before of course, but they sure do have heavier meaning for me today.
Here is the connection. Acts 8…the persecution has begun for the early church and it is used by God to thrust his witnesses into the world. The church is scattered. Luke gives the account first in a general sense, and then (like he often will do) is give a short detailed picture of how that looks by giving an example.
The example is Philip. Carried from place to place to share the gospel. To be in the right place at the right time. To speak life changing truth into those whom God has put on his path (or is it the other way around, Philip was placed in their lives?).
Did Philip have a pillow? Did he have a home?
God brings future opportunities out of the present opposition from the persecution. Philip is taken from place to place (miraculously by God) – a pilgrim who had no will of his own, it seems.
Father, I know that you are preparing a place for me. That place that I like to call “home” has been eluding me. Your purpose in that is certainly best. You are making me long for my eternal home. But more than that, you are causing me to lean into you for the sustaining grace that I need in this season of “mobility”. Thank you for sustaining me, and I ask that you continue to provide. I know, I don’t see a place for me to settle down in the near future, but I ask for the grace to walk in the unknown and contentment with a transient life.
I do have a pillow, even if its a borrowed one! Thank you for that! Thank you for allowing me to be a witness to your light, even if my path is dimmed by the circumstances, may your light shine through me.