Created to Make Homes
As human beings, Christians are called and created to make homes, to invest in places. Furthermore, if God made people in his image, and if Christians are to conform to the image of Christ, then we have an even greater example of the call to invest in a place and to make a home.
Last year, I had the opportunity to speak in my college's chapel. As Advent began and I worked on my talk, I was struck by the magnitude of the Incarnation and the joy of celebrating Christ's coming to earth. Isaiah 7:14 says, "?'The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel'"—that is, God with us. This Christ whose birth we celebrate has the name God with us, and he made his home with us. As John 1 says, the Word "moved into the neighborhood" (The Message).
Christ's primary message during his ministry was about God's kingdom. Christ came to establish his kingdom, to build a home for the family of God. Scripture says that in the present time, the already and the not yet, the kingdom of God is among us, and Christ is King of all. Colossians 1:15-20 offers this expansive vision: "The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."
Redemption is an act of totality. It is salvation from sin, and it is the divine and gracious renovation and restoration of a place where God once walked in the cool of the evening with the first humans at his side. If we view the work of Christ in its fullness, and if we answer the call to follow him, we must look to our investment in place, to our love for home. For Christ has invested, and has paid a greater price than can ever be imagined, so that those who believe in him may call his kingdom their home. Knowing that his kingdom is now among us and all will someday be reconciled to him, we Christians must live as members of that kingdom, as children of the King, and make ourselves at home.
Ryan Salyards is a senior philosophy major at Geneva College. After graduation he plans on writing, taking seminary classes, and working on his family's farm.