Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
This is the LORD for whom we have waited;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
"See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
"Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"
Our stewardship campaign this fall been Wizard of Oz-themed. Each week, someone different would speak on a particular theme from the story as it applied to our life and ministry here. We talked about wisdom, love, and courage, and, finally, "There's no place like (God's) home."
Our readings for All Saints Day speak strongly of the idea of God's home. The assure us that we will see the glory of God, and that this glory is not something far off or unapproachable, but rather that we will see the glory of God as God draws near to us. The God for whom we wait is the very God who makes his home among us.
The days darken, the air cools, and already we are looking toward the rapid approach of the Advent season. All Saints Day speaks Advent place in our hearts, where we long for light and anticipate anew the arrival of Jesus, our Emmanuel - our God-with-us. Our whole life of faith could be described as an Advent life. We are waiting, hoping, anticipating that time when God comes to earth, to dwell with us, to replace darkness with light and death with life.
The approach of winter turns me into a homebody. I crave quiet evenings at home where time slows and light grows warm. I crave slippers and blankets, warm cups of tea, soup simmering on the stovetop and the yeasty smell of bread and contentment spilling from the oven to fill the whole house. I seek cozier pursuits - knitting or baking, tea and candles, turning down the lights to watch movies, nestling deep beneath the comforter and sleeping extra hours in celebration of the morning darkness.
Everything lines up as of by providence, by the hand of a God who knows me too well: the cooling and dimming of the season, the anticipation of family and friends in holiday celebration, the season of Advent that binds me with the rest of the saints throughout the ages who long for light and for the light of Christ. And in all of this, the deepening urgency of crafting a profound sense of home.
God is our salvation, or light, our joy. We will see the glory of God as God takes up dwelling with us. We have been waiting for salvation, and have received it, and live each day with the knowledge that Christ has already come to dwell with us, beginning the work of new creation in us and in our world and preparing the way for that final day when God comes to make his home among us and within us.