I miss my mother-in-law. She made me feel right at home the first time we met. Whenever she visited us, she made herself at home. One of my continuing ambitions is to make an onion and cheese sandwich as well as she did. That’s the kind of relationship that Revelation envisions, with God perfectly at home among us and we with God.
Those who first heard this vision of the home of God heard their word for tabernacle. When their ancestors wandered in the wilderness in search of the Promised Land, they carried a tabernacle (a tent-like structure) with them. This was the assurance that no matter where they went, God had pitched a tent among them.
These words about a new heaven and a new earth were first heard by believers who lived in dangerous times and reassured them that God had not abandoned them. Their loving God would one day bring them to the Promised Land just as God had done before.
This vision of God at home with us continues to wipe tears away and to bring healing comfort and hope. While we wait for that day, we can bring the promise nearer when we pitch our tent with those who need someone to provide a hanky, an understanding ear, a gentle touch and maybe even an onion and cheese sandwich.
Gracious God, thank you for being at home with us. Help us to extend your hospitality to others. Amen. — KW