This world was built as a house for man and into which God has chosen to become our neighbour. Throughout scripture, houses are places of fellowship where meals are shared as well as places of evangelism where the Good news is heard and believed.
In Genesis, God builds a garden home for Adam and provides a table of food for him to enjoy. God also walks by this garden, as neighbours do.
In the wilderness, God calls the people of Israel to love their neighbour and then promptly sets up house in their midst, inviting them over for meals and parties at His house, the Tabernacle. God does the same thing later when He and His people establish a home in the Promised Land.
There, a house is commissioned by God and built by Solomon in which God’s presence dwells and all the people are invited to His annual feasts.
Beyond fellowship and friendship, the temple was a house where God’s goodness and glory was seen and heard. It was a place of evangelism. It was a place where you came into contact with holiness, truth and sacrificial love.
Jesus continues the mission of neighbourly house-to-house evangelism in Luke. Here, we see Jesus going in and out of houses, eating, drinking and sharing the good news with sinners and saints alike.
There is the banquet at Levi’s house (Luke 5:29), dinner at Simon the Pharisees’ house (Luke 7:36), lunch at Martha’s house (Luke 10:38) and a party at the home of Zaccheus (Luke 19:5), just to name a few.
And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. (Luke 19:9)
Luke follows this thread of evangelism and ministry in the book of Acts where people are encountering God and meeting together, “house-to-house” (Acts 2:46; 5:42; 8:3; 10:22; 12:12; 16:32; 16:40; 18:7; 20:20).
We sometimes think of evangelism as a grand event to be organised, orchestrated and manufactured outside our homes. We feel unskilled in what has almost become a profession and we become anxious trying to discern how God would have us share our faith.
When we think this way we overlook the ordinary and truly beautiful pattern given to us by God.
I am not here talking about door knocking, but door opening. Each of us who has a home and a toaster we know how to use is in a position to make the sharing of the good news a regular event.
Through godly, humble lives that reflect the joy, love, service and simplicity of Jesus’ table meals with sinners, we can introduce people to the life of Christ and godliness through hospitality.
Here, in the home and at the table we can quietly participate in the transformation of lives. We can provide comfort for the down-hearted and show the world around us the supremacy of Christ, who has become our neighbour and invited us in to eat and drink with Him.
In a shut-down, locked-out world, such a simple service is considered far holier and astonishing by outsiders than you might think.
You all know what I’m talking about as you’ve probably been blessed in one of these houses yourself.