My wife Jessica and I were beyond fortunate enough to purchase a home last month! We were able to join the elite club of Massachusetts home owners (at least it seems like it should be an elite club given the home prices around here!) We moved into the new place on December 4th and we’re just starting to really settle in. Now that my mind is able to think a bit clearer (given that I’m not running to Home Depot 3-4 times a day any more), I’ve really started to wonder something. How do we as believers on mission in our new stomping grounds use the blessing of a home for the purposes of God’s Kingdom work? That’s the question that I’m still trying to figure out.
A little background on me will help you understand why I might be asking such a question and sincerely attempting to find an answer. Throughout my mid-twenties, I had multiple incredible opportunities to travel to various cultures and serve the Church around the globe. I’ve been to lands such as China, India, and Kenya to name some of them. Believe me that I’m not name-dropping (or I guess it would be country-dropping in this case) when I list those countries. I simply list them out so that you realize that I have experienced a wide variety of cultures. I am the first to admit that I didn’t deserve to go on a single one of those trips around the world. But I digress. While the differences of these cultures were countless, I came back from all of my trips with the same thought! Americans who lived in their big homes with fancy cars were blind sinners who were taking advantage of the rest of the world in order to live in those big homes. While materialism in American culture (and specifically within the American Christian subculture) is widespread and something that must be addressed, my undercurrent of judgment was sinful at its core.
Yet, I now find myself on the other side of the fence. As a new homeowner of a modest house with a better than average car in the driveway, I have found myself wondering if I’ve “sold out to the man”. Even as I’ve pondered the question, I’m confident in answering the question with a resounding ‘no’. I’m a husband and a father that has the responsible desire to provide a shelter and warm home for my wife and son. Nevertheless, I am convinced that God has blessed us with this home for more than just this. Yes, it will be a warm and inviting home where our son can grow up, but it seems like it must be for more than this.
I find myself at my original question. How do we as believers on mission in our new stomping grounds use the blessing of a home for the purposes of God’s Kingdom work? I don’t have the full answer and yet I have a burden that we discover it! I write this blog a few hours after we spent some time walking the neighborhood inviting our new neighbors over for an open house. My hope and prayer is that this be the first of many similar events that the Bertram crew hosts. There’s just something about inviting a person into your home that helps to break down barriers. Hopefully as those barriers begin to come down, there will be opportunities to share the love and grace of Jesus Christ.
While I have a foggy idea of what hospitality looks like, I’m still very intrigued and curious as to how we (the Bertram crew as well as Restoration Road) can become better at opening our doors to others for the purpose of the Gospel. I’d love to hear about any experiences you all have had to see what’s worked and what’s not. Feel free to leave comments!
To God be the glory for the Bertram homestead in Wilmington, MA!!!