When we say that we have to have a life that Jesus is comfortable remaining in, too many persons hear what they fear the most - that they have to have their life perfect before they can have Jesus.
This is something that, sadly, too many have heard from the church herself for too long. This is the message they've heard preached from their pulpits, from their neighbors, from their brothers and sisters. Sometimes, we've used words to preach this, but often, we've just used looks. Sneers. Snide comments. Intentional exclusion. We have kept our distance, and those among us who wrestle most deeply with the sins that we seem to most disapprove of have gotten the message - Jesus, too, keeps His distance from someone like you.
So we have to be intentional about saying, that's not what we're saying. We are not saying that you have to have your life totally together before you come to God. We are not saying that you can't be a sinner crawling to the Cross. We are not saying that Jesus will not dwell in you until you clean your life up. Remember - this is a God who came to dwell among us in all of our mess and muck and a Jesus who so frequently traveled with, ate with, fellowshipped with, and loved sinners that the religious elite thought there was something wrong with Him. At the very least, they could not believe He was God.
What we are saying is that you should be trying. You should be doing whatever you can do to make Jesus welcome in your life, even if it's not perfect. Even if it's not pretty. Even if you don't feel like you have a whole lot to offer Him. You do have to be working toward making a hospitable life or at the very least, desire this thing in your heart.
Listen, Jesus is not opposed to a mission trip. He's not opposed to coming to your place to work while He remains. He's not afraid to roll up His sleeves and pitch in and help you to build the kind of life that you long for. In fact, that's what He specializes in. If you need mulch in your flower beds, Jesus is willing to help. If you need running water in your bathroom, Jesus is willing to help. If you need a new section of floor where the foundation of your life has rotted right out from under you, Jesus is willing to help.
You don't have to have your life all put together for Jesus to come. You just have to make welcome and be mindful of what it means to have a guest in your place.
If you've traveled at all, you know that some of the most hospitable places in all the world are the poorest ones. They're the ones where the host is just scraping by, where she barely has enough for herself and her own family, but she gives you the good blanket. She sleeps on the floor so you can have the bed.
To be honest with you, I'd rather stay on a poor person's couch than in a 5-star hotel. Because when I go into a really nice place, I don't always feel welcome. I always feel like I'm going to mess something up. The host always seems to have rules about what you can touch and when you can touch it. A poor host doesn't care. A poor host is like, "Hey, welcome. I don't have a lot, but what I do have is yours while you're here. Make yourself at home."
And that's the attitude that we ought to have with Jesus. Not because our lives are perfect, but precisely because they aren't. And that's all He's looking for - that kind of open invitation, that kind of warm welcome.
Hey, Jesus. Welcome. I don't have a lot, but what I do have is Yours.
Make Yourself at home.