Most of us are lucky to have a home. Somewhere safe we can sleep and eat and share time with those we love. Others aren’t so lucky and ‘home’ consists of the next empty sofa. Or a small space under the eaves of a large shop. Or the most unimaginable of places. These people are so often written off or regarded as trash or a waste of space.
Our church meets in a school. This year, the message from God is that He wants us to focus on “pressing in” to our own place: a building elsewhere in the town that needs significant redevelopment. The place that’s often called Our New Home. In a way our church is homeless, but we still have a nice place to be together and to worship.
When Jesus walked this earth, He changed everything. We all know the stories of His power, His grace, His wisdom. And the ultimate love He showed us all when He went to the cross for us and a world that didn’t deserve it.
But Jesus – our amazing, incredible Lord – was homeless.
He says so Himself in Luke 9v58:
“Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.””
There is a song by Rich Mullins that talks about this very matter. I haven’t heard the song in years but I have always remembered one line –
“But the hope of the whole world rests
On the shoulders of a homeless man.”
The hope of thousands (and millions to come) depends on one homeless man.
We have our own picture of a preacher. Of a person who speaks God’s truth, no matter what the cost. Truly amazing people that have committed their lives to God’s service.
But are they well dressed and well to-do? Are they groomed? Are they clean? Are they homeless?
Jesus – regardless of what the most famous painters would have us believe – would meet few of those criteria. Would we listen to the teachings of a homeless man? Now, here, in our home towns? Not everyone did but this homeless man who had no earthly wealth still attracted crowds of thousands.
I’m not saying that well-dressed preachers shouldn’t be listened to or that all you wonderful preachers, teachers and church leaders should give up your homes and habits. My point is that we shouldn’t disregard the words of those who might not meet our expectations or standards. The poor, the downtrodden, the homeless.
Sometimes the most inspired of God’s messages, comes from the most unexpected of places.
About the Author
Tracy Baird was formerly the Senior Project Worker at Ayr Ark, a Go For It funded project which provides an alcohol-free nightclub, community education, Summer trips and lots more, to increase confidence and promote positive lifestyle choices among young people. Tracy and her family now live in Fife.
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