Acts 4:32 “All the believers were of one heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.”
When Bri and I moved to Northern Michigan from Kentucky in 2013, we were uprooting our lives to move to a state we knew four things about. First, it had a city named Detroit. Second, it had less than stellar BBQ compared to where we are from. Third, we only knew one couple that lived there. Lastly, we were moving in with a family from our new church that we had talked to once.
The first two months after our move we were adjusting to a new home. Looking back on those first few months, we learned a few things about what it means to be home. First, we learned that Home means meshing our lives, experiences and culture with another family’s lives, experiences and culture. This was difficult. It took intentional communication, boundaries and grace on both sides. Second, we learned that home means receiving hospitality. Bri and I were used to cleaning, cooking and doing things for ourselves, but our host family taught us that we go through seasons in life where we need to receive hospitality, whether that be receiving a home-cooked meal, an invitation to share our story, or even a home.
It’s easy to read the scripture above as if it was easy for a community of people to all come and share life together, but this is simply not reality. The apostle Paul would later go on in his epistles to address issues the communities were having in trying to share life together. It is no different a couple thousand years later. Our residents go through significant transitions as these early communities did. They are learning to mesh their lives, experiences and cultures with one another. They are giving and receiving hospitality by providing space for each other and sharing meals and activities together.
They are learning to let go of a past season of life to embrace a new season of life. They are learning together what it means to be home. May all of us take time to notice and celebrate our residents as they do this holy work.