(Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash)
"Home" conjures different pictures and expectations for different people. So when I say Lift is "home", I understand that this might not excite others as much as it excites me. So let me explain myself.
If I had to give one word to describe what a "home" should look like, I would use the word "safe". Being an introvert by nature, home was always a place where I could feel safe enough to be myself. Sometimes social situations create this sense in me that I'm expected to act in a certain way in order to be accepted. So when I get home, those expectations melt away. I get to act like me without worry of being rejected. If I want to be quiet for a while, I don't have to worry that people think I'm a snob. If I'm feeling a little overwhelmed, I can be sure that people don't think that I'm incapable of living. If I'm a little wild and crazy, I know people can laugh and be crazy with me. I feel safe expressing me, and being me.
I think there's also the ability to build community in a safe space. When I have people over to my home, its often because I trust them and want to build friendship with them. I know that in a church setting, this could be a little different, but for me I hope that we are able to build a safe space for friendships to be built. If we are able to build a culture where people can be themselves in their journey of finding and knowing Christ better, I believe that this is doable.
In Matt 9: 9-13 we find that Jesus has befriended Matthew who is a tax-collector. Tax-collectors are people who were often shady characters, and often seen as thieves because they would line their own pockets, and they supported the Roman occupation of Israel. Still, Jesus was cool with being friends with Matthew. In fact Matthew was so impacted by Jesus' friendship that he called a party that included all his tax-collector friends, as well as other people that society saw as questionable ("sinners"). I wonder whether we're able to be such a safe person that we get invited into spaces where we can truly bring hope and life. Where people are not worried about how we are going to judge them, but are excited to receive us in. Contrast that with the Pharisees, the religious class of Israel. They saw what Jesus was doing and they immediately thought that it was social suicide. For a religious teacher to be seen with such people was taboo.
I hope that we never get to such a state where we draw a dividing line between "us" and "them". Our faith does not put us on higher ground than anyone else. In fact Jesus gives us the commissioning to share this hope that we have in him. To condemn is not Christian, and neither is it "safe". We are all on a journey, and I believe that we each have something to contribute to each other's journeys .
Let's continue to build "home" at Lift.