“Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, ‘May God’s peace be on this house’” —Luke 10:5 NLT
We moved a lot when we were first married. Ray was in the military, and we moved to nine different locations in seventeen years. In that same time frame, we lived in fourteen different homes. That’s a lot of houses and apartments, isn’t it? We began the habit of blessing our homes early on in our marriage. Not sure who gave me the idea, but I just knew that I wanted each place to be wholly inhabited by the Holy Spirit, given over to the Lord for His good work and purposes.
Sometimes, our blessing was a simple prayer, holding hands as a family in our living room: Lord, thank You for this home. Help us to live well here in harmony with You and each other. May everyone who crosses the threshold sense Your Presence. May this be a place of refuge and blessing for all who enter. Remove any unclean spirit or evil, please, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Finally, in our forties, Ray and I bought a home that was our very own. I was so excited. No longer did I have to worry about marks on the walls. And our walls no longer had to remain white! In fact, I thought with a bold, little smile, I could even scribble on the walls with permanent marker if I really wanted to! This home was ours. Of course, I did not write on the walls. However, with no landlord or military personage watching over us, we could finally decorate and plan as we liked. So we began to make this home our home.
But our home still had a Lord, didn’t it? Oh, yes! All we had was a gift of provision from our wonderful heavenly Father. I wanted to do something extra special to place a blessing on this home that was actually ours (well, ours and the bank’s). But what? I suggested we anoint the doorframes with olive oil and pray at the entrance of each. Ray joined me as we made little cross marks on the top of each door and asked God to bless our home and use it for His glory. I confess, I felt a little silly. We’re pretty conservative Christians and praying and anointing with oil was not a common practice at our church. The little ceremony, though, reminded us that we were simply God’s stewards of this place to live and raise our daughters. I remember smiling through tears as we dedicated it to Him.
And then today, I read this verse as if for the first time, “Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, ‘May God’s peace be on this house.’” Wow. Jesus directed His disciples to bless the homes they entered while on their mission trip. He did! Even though in the disciples’ case, they were praying blessing on another’s home as they left, still the thought that blessing a home was established by Jesus fills me with joy. Suddenly, I felt more “settled” in what we had done years ago. Does God need us to bless a home in order for it to be holy? No. Is He able to bless our homes regardless? Yes. The prayer can’t be seen as “magic” to ward off evil in a pagan sense. It goes deeper than that. When we pray that God will bless our home and that His peace will be on our house, we’re simply acknowledging that …
… we have been blessed with a roof over our heads and that it is ours for this season. We are thankful.
… we now have a place we can share with a hurting world. We seek to serve Him with our home.
… we are aware that evil exists, and we rebuke it. We claim our home for Christ alone.
Heavenly Father, please bless our homes. May they be shelters for all who enter and for all who live there. May our words within these dwellings be kind and good. May Your love be so present that others want to visit. Reach people through our homes, Lord, and give us hearts that welcome others in. May Your peace be on our houses or apartments or dorm rooms. Wherever we are, we want You near. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Dear Reader, When I wrote this Musing almost two months ago, I had no idea that we all would be quarantined in our homes when it came time to publish. The dorm rooms these days are empty for the most part. College students have squeezed back home again along with the other school children, toddlers, and babies. Whole families are living very closely together. If ever there were a time to bless a home, asking God to fill it with His Presence and His love, I think now would be that time. I believe God knew when He nudged me to write this, that its scheduled time would be ... well ... timely!
May God bless your home and all who reside within it.
You are loved,
Sweet Selah Ministries
To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing Him
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