Today is post-father’s day, and for many in my profession, its the traditional “day off.” I live in Bakersfield, California, some 2300 miles from my parents, my youngest brother, and our two daughters and their husbands…and 2 grandbabies. Our son and his family live a little closer; about 1500 miles away. My brother Joel and his family live in Las Vegas…about 4.5 hours drive.
When we are separated by the miles, we rely on technology; mail, phone, email, facetime. None of these can compare to being together under the same roof. There are sounds, smells, and feels to being physically together.
When Faith and I get together with our kids and grandkids, we try our best to include everyone. Until a few years ago, we had the “largest house.” It only made sense. A phrase I would often use was, “this is a rare treat.” Indeed, that phrase grows more and more endearing.
Several years ago, my brothers and I made a concerted effort to all get to our parents for Christmas. My dad’s words ring in my ears, with tears “you’ve sure made an old man happy.”
When we look at the scriptures, we see that our Heavenly Father has a longing to be with us. The world began with God “walking with Adam in the cool of the day.” After sin entered the world through man’s disobedience, the separation began – but not forever.
In the book of Revelation, the consummation of all things, the statement is made, “Behold, now the dwelling place of God is with man.” The Father’s house has been the Father’s plan all along.
Just like natural families, the invitation to come to the Father’s house is not received by all. Jesus spoke of that future estate in a parable; comparing our future home with the Father to a great wedding feast. The point is, not everyone invited responds.
I fear that today our longing for the Father’s house is faltering.
The temporary gathering place for the Father’s family is called the church. The permanent gathering place is called heaven. Until Jesus comes, we are to be: 1. eager to gather to the temporary place and 2. long for going home to be with the Father forever.
Paul states in Philippians that he is “torn between two.” His only hinderance, so to speak, to going to heaven, was remaining alive on earth to gather the church.
Do we really long for the Father’s house more than anything? Do we long to be with Him as much as He does us?
Yesterday, I talked on the phone with my dad. We discussed how church was, what we had for dinner, what we got for gifts/cards, and how the Tigers are doing. I would have much rather been sitting in his house, having the same conversation.
I pray that you would have a fresh fervor for God’s temporary house; the church, and a longing to Jesus to return.
Heartfelt, authentic and articulate Pastor Darius. You’re a good father, good son, and friend.
ah, i love you man!
love from young man