July 9, 2023

The Shepherd's Corner

The other day our daughter asked me where my favorite home was.  Since Santy and I got married, we have moved so many times that I lost count. But this was the answer I gave her: Every home was my favorite because she and her siblings were there.  In response she gave me a picture of our last home together in Malang; she told me that’s her favorite home.  I now have that picture sitting on my desk and every time I see it, I cannot help but remember the many sweet memories we had.  I miss it, and I miss the time we shared together.

Throughout our nearly forty years of marriage, Santy and I have only owned a home, a townhouse in Covina, which we lived in for three years before we moved to Indonesia in 1991.  Before and after all our homes were gifts—from Santy’s parents, my parents, and the Bible school where I taught—for us to live in.  Thanks to them, we have never been without a roof over our heads.  God has taken care of us and through it all, He has taught us what a home really is. It is not a physical building because it is built on relationships, not bricks.

God’s willing, next Saturday we will bury the body of Oom John Oey. We know that his spirit is no longer here because Jesus Our Lord has come and taken him home, as He lovingly promised, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2). We have perhaps wondered what “prepare a place for you” means. 

Some say that it means that Jesus is building a home for us; once it’s done, He will, then, come and taken us there. The fact that we are still alive means that our homes are not done. A nice way to make sense of death but unfortunately it is not so.  Jesus is not a home builder; preparing a place simply means that there is a place for us; guaranteed and ready to be occupied, not anytime, but in His time.      

Pastor Paul

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