Inside virtually every hotel room sits a small chest of drawers.  These drawers are almost entirely empty.  Their only purpose is to create a space where you can put your stuff while you stay there. 

Do you mind if I ask you a personal question?  Do you use this chest of drawers?  If so, what is the length of stay where it is worth it for you to unpack your bag, organize the drawers, then repack before leaving?  3 nights?  5 nights?  a week?

I ask this question, because it demonstrates a point.  The shorter our stay, the less we “move in.”  The longer our stay, the more we try to make the most of our accommodations.  I don’t use the drawers in a hotel on an overnight stay . . . but I certainly unpacked my stuff during the week of camp my family participated in last summer.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are far from home while we are in this world.  We are citizens of heaven, and will spend eternity in a place that is not “here.”  In a sense, our time in this world is but a few nights in a hotel compared to the length of our residency in heaven.  Our connection to Jesus defines our identity, and our home we have not yet seen, but we will be there soon.  Given this reality, how much do we “move in?”  To say it another way, do we unpack our bags and make the most of our accommodations, or do we keep things packed away, sleeping (but not really living) in our current environment?

This is not a new dilemma for the people of God.  From the very start, God’s people have had to deal with the challenge of residing in one location while being a citizen of another.  In the Old Testament, during the time of Jeremiah the Prophet, God’s people were in exile in Babylon.  Their home was Israel, but they found themselves in a distant place.  What were they to do?  Were they to keep their “bags” packed, or enjoy engage in their new setting (even knowing they would not be there forever)?  Further, in The New Testament, as the followers of Jesus went into new cities that had different values and beliefs, did they stay packed into ghettos, or seek to transform their surroundings?  Looking at these examples will help us understand what it looks like for us to operate today in the city where we are staying.

On Sunday, January 21 at Wildwood Community Church, we will continue our “For” series by looking at what it means for us to be “For Norman.”  We will use Jeremiah 29:1-14 and Acts 19:1-41 as our guide.  Make plans to join us at Wildwood this weekend for worship.  We will be having the Lord’s Supper together, singing songs of praise together, and looking at these verses together.  See you in our 8:30, 9:45, and 11:00 services.

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