This Is Your House

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There are many rooms in my Father’s house, and I am going to prepare a place for you.  ~~ John 14:2 (TEV)

I’m in a meeting … Zoom, of course … and one of the other attendees agrees to open the meeting with prayer.  I always enjoy hearing others pray … there are a myriad of ways to acknowledge God’s presence in our gatherings, and I enjoy most of them.  This was a good prayer … but one phrase took hold of me and hung on … “This is Your House.”  We weren’t gathered together in a house … certainly not a house of God … we were each in our own homes.  And maybe it was because of that truth, that the phrase grabbed me.  I don’t remember the rest of the prayer.  I remember feeling lifting into God’s presence … but the only words I can recall are “This is your house.”  And for the hour or so that the few of us spent together, it was God’s house. 

While I have been diligent in trying to establish a disciplined and consistent work rhythm from home, it is not coming easily for me.  I deeply miss the rhythm of the church office, the structure of a schedule that takes me different places each day of the week, and the variety of people that regularly pass through the building, and thus my life.  I feel orphaned in my own home.  It is a comfortable place for personal and family activities … but not for church ones.  And I find myself as often as not, feeling “out of sorts.”  I’m not the most efficient worker, truth be told.  But I have always been a hard worker, and that has been my salvation in getting most things done, most days.  So, this is an unusual time for me.  I feel disconnected.

I know I will find resolution to my current malaise.  I certainly know that the problem is not God, but me.  And I know God will use my best character trait … stubbornness … to keep me together until things fall in place.  

I also know that God spoke directly to me last week with a lifeline for the time being … This is Your House.  A heavenly message offered through a human voice.  I know that no matter where I am … no matter how I feel in a given moment … I am always in the house and presence of God.  It is enough for now … because even a little bit of God’s presence goes a long way.  May your house be God’s house this coming week … and always.

Rev. Craig Ross

Senior Pastor

The vibrancy of life here at St. Peter’s makes my service on our staff a joy and privilege. Visitation, teaching and preaching are the ministries that feed my pastoral identity, as together our staff and lay members share in our missional calling … Building a community of faith by God’s grace.

2 comments

  1. “I am always in the house and presence of God.”
    I was in correspondence with a friend the past week. I was kvetching to her that I missed the “place” of church, and that I had certain connections to certain parts of the building that worked towards building a better me. She responded (and accurately) that “church is the people, not the building”. And she’s right, as much as I hate to admit that…she’s right.
    Your line that I quoted above admirably expresses that same thought about “when two are gathered together”.
    Above all other aspects of your teaching, Craig Ross, I will always remember that you taught me and us to find God in the small places and small interactions, for He is in everything around us.
    We may not have a house for St. Peter’s right now, but we will always have a home.
    Thanks for a very grounded and uplifting devotional. (And there wasn’t even a chorus of “We shall overcome…”)

  2. Bless you Brendan … now if only I can believe my words when I want to just drive up the church and sit in the empty pews. 🙂 Your friends is right, of course. But physical space does prompt memories of times spent with others in that place. Ahhhh … a great Lutheran dialectic again.

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