Have you ever been in a place that made you feel so uncomfortable that you wished you could get out and run as fast as you could? In August of 1983 I wanted to run for the hills, but I couldn’t for two very important reasons. For starters, the place I wanted to escape from was my own house. The other reason was that I happened to be only 6 years old at the time.
It was the week before my birthday and I was already mentally preparing myself for what I expected to be an unforgettable time of celebration with my family and friends. Well, things did not exactly play out as I thought they would. Living outside of Houston at the time, we were hit by a massive hurricane. One of the costliest tropical cyclones to ever hit Texas, Hurricane Alicia caused $2.6 billion in damage and killing 21 people in a matter of 6 days. This created such havoc that we were unable to leave the house. Trapped indoors without electricity for several days, my sister, brother and I were in rare form. All of this contributed to an environment that led to one of the most memorable experiences of my life.
This incident just so happened to involve lighting my older sister’s hair on fire. Now that’s not what made me want to get out of the house. Truth be told, watching hair burn may have been what inspired me to move towards the sciences from such a young age. In a sense, my sister unknowingly and sacrificially helped contribute to the person that I became. Nonetheless, I wanted to get out of the house as quickly as possible! What made me really want to leave my house so badly was the “consequences” that were to follow (maybe I’ll leave those details of the story for another time). Let’s just suffice it to say that our house was not a place of healing for me that week (or for my sister’s hair…although it is possible that I may have helped out her split end issue a bit). Whereas a house is a place that you lay your head to sleep, a home is a place of healing.
HEALING HAPPENS AT HOME
In the public ministry of Jesus Christ, his “home,” was a place called Capernaum. This town in Galilee was at the center of Jesus’ activities. It also happened to be the hometown of the apostles Peter, James, Andrew and John, and the tax collector Matthew. Early in his ministry, when Jesus comes home with a few of his disciples, he immediately enters the synagogue (a house of worship) and transforms it into a home! He begins by amazing the people with his teachings (Mark 1:21-22). But this was nothing! He was really about to get their attention when he heals a man that had an unclean spirit (Mark 1:23-28).
But Jesus’ work for the day was far from done. After finishing at the synagogue, he goes to Peter’s house in order to transform it into a home. Finding Peter’s mother-in-law laying sick, Christ lifts her up and heals her (Mark 1:29-31). Peter’s house instantly becomes a home for the entire city! Later that evening, “when the sun had set, they brought to [Jesus] all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34 Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons.” (Mark 1:32-34a)
WHAT MAKES A HOUSE A HOME (4 ASPECTS)
Whether we are talking about the Church, as a house of worship, or our homes, as a house where we live, what is it that makes a house a home? What transforms a house into a place of healing? I will offer you four key aspects that are needed for our houses to be places of healing:
- Environment of Healing: The first ingredient that opens the door for healing is to have the right environment. Capernaum, the name of Jesus’ hometown, means “village of comfort.” (Strong’s G2584) People who are comfortable don’t run for the hills.
- Hearing About Healing: Have you ever wondered how so many people knew about Christ was doing? When Jesus wasn’t healing people, he was teaching them. And these people would go and tell others about what they heard and saw from Him. The shema instructs that you should teach your children about the commands of God, and to “talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” (Deut. 6:7) Hearing about God and what He is doing in the life of His people is a great reminder of His healing ministry that continues today in the Church.
- Desire for Healing: Creating the right environment, and hearing about the healing ministry of Christ, is great but you will notice in the Bible that those whose lives are transformed by Jesus are those who possess a desire for healing. “32 At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door.” (Mark 1:32-33) Healing just didn’t happen; these people had such a profound desire for healing that they lined up and waited on Christ to work in their lives. They did whatever it took to get close to Him.
- Being Present with the Healer: I know this one seems like a no-brainer but I feel like it is still important to mention, whether talking about Church or the house. Just being present in the house doesn’t bring healing. Allow yourself to really be present with your body, mind and soul with the Healer.
All of this will help transform a house into a home!
- What do you think we can do to create an environment of healing in our churches and houses?
- What are keys that you have found help you in being more present with the healer?
- Would you suggest a fifth key aspect that will help transform a house into a place of healing?