Sunday, March 18, 2018

Sunday Afternoon Tea - He Goes to Prepare a Place

 "...I go to prepare a place for you."  John 14:2 KJV

I have begun my "little at a time" Spring cleaning.  Each season I wonder if I can do it this year but each change of season He provides the strength.  For I have found I can do just about anything a few minutes at a time, even if I can no longer spend hours in cleaning... or pruning... or anything else requiring energy.

I do it because Place has a meaning and my small amount of it on this planet is what He has provided while I am here, in this time and in this Place.  What I do with it is a gift back to Him.  Thankfully, He accepts imperfection just as much as anything we do that is really, really good.

Through the years, I have met a few people (in person and through books) who did not think it very "Christian" to decorate our homes to look beautiful.  I didn't always know how to respond but I do now for I know that belief is not at all what the Bible says.

If anything, our Creator in His Word shows us why we long for beautiful surroundings.  We, who were born from the sod of garden soil, were created to love the beauty of nature.  He shows us in the instructions for building the Tabernacle that not only is beauty important to Him but today's psychiatrists would say he is more than a little OCD about details.

While He walked the earth, He thought the work that Tabitha (Dorcas) accomplished with needle and thread was so important to those who loved her that she was raised from the dead. Believe me, God gets it.

This past week, a Bible verse kept floating to my mind.  I asked Him if that is what I was to write about this week.  I felt the answer was "yes"... so here 'tis.

God understands our need for Place in this world.  So much that just before He was to die on the cross, He assured the disciples that he was going to prepare a Place for them.  For us.  For all who believe it does not end at the cross.

I don't know, perhaps it is the soon coming of Easter that sparked this thinking.  I love Easter and I have to admit... do not hate me for I have good friends who disagree... I love both the theological and the cultural aspects of it.  I guess it has a lot to do with childhood memories.

Obviously what I love most about Easter is the Resurrection of Jesus.  I remember when I attended a liturgical church, the Sundays leading up to Easter were to me the most beautiful of the year.  I loved the sermons and the music and the way the church was decorated.

However, I also love bunnies and colored eggs and chocolate crosses (which I put in my kid's baskets along with chocolate bunnies and marshmallow chicks) and I honestly did not have a problem combining them on that Sunday each year.  Just as I never had a problem calling the day... Easter.

For just as I love adding whimsy to the celebration of the birth of Christ, I love adding some Narnia magic to the celebration of the resurrection of Christ.  Beautifully colored eggs decorating the table (those I have now are made of wax) do not take away from the Truth of the risen Christ.  They just remind us that everything about the day is Beautiful.

For you see, He not only appreciates all that is lovely... He created all that is lovely and He is Beauty personified.  Jesus knows our hearts and He understands that colored eggs and chocolate bunnies are not in my heart symbols of pagan worship.  They are a part of the celebration of what Easter is all about, especially when we get together with family and friends to celebrate the occasion.

He knows that  the name given to that day has no pagan meaning to me.  I didn't even know it was associated with pagans until I was an adult.  Words have the meaning we give them and Easter to me means the risen Lord.

So what does all of this have to do with the subject of "Place"?  I realized this past week just how much God cares about what is important to us.  He totally understands our need for Place because we are His creation.  He put that need for a place where we can live... and make beautiful... and show hospitality in us at the moment of creation.

It is only tarnished when our desire for "Place" becomes an idol, a small "g" god.  When all we can think about is getting a bigger house, new furniture, a nicer landscape, and the latest decorations... then our original God given need for Place has been taken over by coveting and greed.

Easter reminds us that the Bible says He has gone to prepare a Place for us.  The Master Carpenter is building a City and within it is a Place with our name on the mailbox.  I truly believe that everything we ever wanted in a house will be found in that home.  All the godly desires within us are just an echo of that eternal Place.

I can hardly wait for that day we see our real Home.  Maranatha, Lord.

Image: Instagram photo - tweaking the sideboard for Spring.


Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

I really love this, Brenda. As a ‘placemaker’ It is important to me to create a home full of beauty and warmth and welcome. It how my
Father made me.

Sandy said...

This was just beautiful. I love your thoughts. I have always loved making my home pretty. What a wonderful way to view it!
Have a blessed Easter.

Unknown said...

I really needed this. Thank you for motivating me! I will make my home beautiful to the glory of God. Such an excellent post about God’s beauty and his understanding of our need for beauty. All praise to our beautiful Creator!

lejmom said...

I Loved your post today---maybe because I am a lover of place as well. You always have such wise words and give me a reason to ponder.

Yesterday's was great, too---recipe boxes. I recently copied all of my mother's and grandmother's recipes that I wanted to save and put them in a recipe book-type album. I copied them on the copier so they would be in their handwriting. Some of the recipes date back to the late 1800's. Some omitted measurements and oven temps. Probably figured everyone knew how to bake. Back then, mostly cakes and cookies and breads. And pickles and preserving. No such thing as a casserole! Till about the 50's...fascinating.

Vee said...

This is my favorite Scripture. It will probably be engraved on my tombstone. 🙂 Since reading this the first two times yesterday afternoon, I have listened to a sermon based on this as well. It is wonderful how The Lord works to cement a thought into one’s consciousness. My pastor friend might find it intriguing how you have used the verses, but I am right there with you. God cares very much about “Home” and He has placed the very concept of it into our beings. We were made for His presence and His home.