Scripture Texts: Genesis 28; Psalms 105:1-12; John 1:49-51
Jacob named the place where he saw the ladder going to heaven, Bethel. This was also the place that God assured Jacob that the promise of his grandfather Abraham had been continued in him. This would not be the last time the people of God would visit this place. Throughout the Old Testament we find the people meeting at Bethel to reconnect with God.
As the Scriptures remind us, Bethel means the house of God. Imagining the surrounds there is not much around Jacob that looks like a house as we understand it. There is no physical building, and as far as we know there is not even a cave. All we know is there is a place to lay down and there is a now oil drenched stone pillar. Bethel becomes the house of God because that is the place where people and God meet together. It is a safe place for people to deepen their relationship with God.
This leads us to think about the place we call home. We are blessed to have a modest home that is warm and safe. By our earthly standards our physical dwelling is very suitable. The bigger question is whether our physical house is a House of God, our very own Bethel. The way we live and interact with each other and with God determines if our home is a house of God or not.
It is a matter of making ourselves and our home available to be used by God however God sees fit. Having our home be a house of God involves the ways we use our marriage to be available to God. When we make our marriage available to God, along with all our lives and our home we find ourselves being a safe place where people can deepen their relationship with God. We find ourselves living in the house of God, Bethel.
Making ourselves available to God in this way is not always easy. In fact often we are called to sacrifice or live differently that we always want to. However, we would not trade any of the changes or sacrifices for the profound relationship we experience with God, and the amazing impact this has had on our marriage. The Psalmist writes that they would rather spend one day in the court of God, than a thousand elsewhere. When we put forth the effort to make our homes a house of God, we get to live in the full fellowship with God, everyday all day.