Read Ezekiel 48
Focus on verse 35
A week or so ago I wrote about an empty house and how lonely and desolate it seems. Today I am reminded of how warm and inviting it is to arrive at place that is not only a house, but because of who dwells there, it is what we call home. One of the things about being home is that we often don’t know how much it means to us until we have an opportunity to not be there for a time.
I was probably about nine of ten years old the first time I went to summer camp for a week. It was frightening at first but the staff and other campers made it an enjoyable time for the most part, but it was nice to come home. Probably where I most began to appreciate the home I grew up in, was when I went off to a private boarding school in tenth grade. Weekends at home suddenly became a novelty. The old farmhouse where we lived was quite modest compared to most at that time, but it was home because that is where my family was. I visited that same house many years later. By this time it had been unoccupied for nearly a decade. It was still the same house, and it brought back many fond memories, but it was no longer home because it was empty. My sister has since built a new house on that property, and it is now home to her family. Our mother also lives there with them, which I suspect makes it feel like home for her as well. It is good to be “home”.
In today’s reading in the closing chapter of Ezekiel, he continues to describe what appears to be the City of Jerusalem after the return of Christ. What makes me think it must be after is the name he gives the city in the last verse.
The circumference of the city shall be 18,000 cubits. And the name of the city from that time on shall be, “The Lord is There.” (v. 35)
Either this is a literal description of the eternal City of God, or it is a figurative description of Christ dwelling within our hearts, or perhaps even more likely it is both. There is a sense in which eternity begins at the moment our spirit is regenerated by the Holy Spirit when we choose to say yes to God’s invitation to repent and return to Him. From that moment on our life is never the same as we grow into the realization that He will never leave us. We will literally be with God forever both in the remainder of our life on earth as well as the remainder of our life in eternity.
From that point on “the Lord is There.” No one, and no thing can separate us from Him. From this point on somebody is home, and it is not just anybody! The Lord is here! He dwells within us! Think about that for a moment. For a little while longer we will walk with Him on this planet – increasingly more so as aliens and strangers among people who do not seem to understand. Sooner or later, however, we will get to go home – to a home that God has been preparing for us since the beginning of time, and…it will be good to finally be home!