I grew up in a mobile home. It never moved. But it could have. It was all ready to go. A few mobile home facts:
To be mobile, a home must by necessity not use standard construction materials. Instead of drywall and insulation, thin wood paneling. There are no secrets in a mobile home.
If your home’s available living space is measured in length and width, not in square footage, you are going to be in a very small living space. 14 ft x 70 ft is a bit like living in a large train car.
If you need to climb up on the roof to clean the filters on the swamp cooler, you should wear long pants, because the swamp cooler only needs to work when it’s hot out, and the roof is made of aluminum. Also, not a lot of people know what a swamp cooler is, so don’t bring it up.
You can’t just put up a mobile home anywhere you please, even if you own the land. So we gather them in “parks.” This is both a correct use and a tragic misuse of the word “park”. There is generally nothing park-like in the trailer park. But you do park your house there.
People for whom the mobility of their home is a high priority sometimes also have other questionable priorities. Take for instance the common site of a well-maintained Camaro with t-tops in front of a poorly maintained yard, home, and set of offspring.
Ephesians 2 (MSG)
19-22 That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone.
Ephesians 2 (NIV)
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Here Paul is writing to Gentiles, who some Jews had questioned including in the faith. You are being made into God’s house, as much as the Jews.
This is important, because it establishes a new reality – the Temple is not God’s house anymore. We are.
I think this must have been hard for Hebrews. They even met together in the temple as Christians. It was the center of this worship.
It’s hard for us too. We tend to associate Jesus with boxes.
Gungor – “Cannot Keep You”
They tried to keep you in a tent
They could not keep you in a temple
Or any of their idols, to see and understand
They could not keep you in their walls
We cannot keep you in ours either
For you are so much greater
Who is like the Lord
The maker of the heavens
Who dwells with the poor
He lifts them from the ashes
And He seats them among princess
Who is like the Lord
We’ve tried to keep you in our tents
We’ve tried to keep you in our temples
We’ve worshiped all our idols
We want all that to end
So we will find you in the streets
And we will find you in the prisons
And even in our Bibles and churches
Who is like the Lord?
We are His home. And we are mobile. He goes with us.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
We are no longer exiles or strangers. We are home. No matter how foreign or hostile our situation, we carry our home in our hearts.
Jesus walks…with you.
Be aware. Acknowledge it.
Don’t be afraid
To pray on the spot.
To give a word of encouragement.
To talk about your hope.
Can “church” happen right where we are? It had better.
If there is a great divide between the sacred part of your life and the rest of your life, you may have been trying to build the wrong kind of house.
What are some things that you do at church or with church people you would never do in public?
How do you explain church relationships and church events to outsiders? Does it make any sense to them?
What “church” things need to get outside the walls of the building? How?
One more thing:
Collide your worlds (story about lunch this week).
Be intentional about making this happen.
When your worlds collide, make sure no one is surprised.