My dwelling shall be with them

We all know what it’s like to make room in our homes for a new arrival, whether a new baby, a child returning from college, or an ailing parent.   We rearrange furniture, do some extra cleaning, and maybe redecorate—usually with some anxiety about the coming change in our lives.

In today’s first reading (Ezekiel 37:27), Ezekiel is speaking of God’s plan to bring Israel back from exile.   God’s glorious presence will return to the Temple, and he will live with his people.   Do you think they were all ready for him to come back?   From the sound of it, probably not.   Fortunately, however, God promises to help with the rearranging, cleaning, and even rebuilding.   He promises to be with them to restore them and redeem them and cleanse them from their sins.   He will even make his home with them.

Doesn’t this sound remarkably similar to Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit, who “remains with you, and will be in you” (John 14:17)?   It should!   After all, this is the same Holy Spirit who spoke through Ezekiel.   The same Holy Spirit who restored Israel is living in and among us.   Of course, he works in and through the Church.   But he is also at work in your heart.   Cleansing?   Yes.   Restoring?   Yes.   Redeeming?   Yes.   Rearranging?   Yes!

So ask yourself what he is working on right now.   He might be helping you rebuild a broken relationship.   Or helping you open your heart more to his grace.   He might be shining his light on some area of darkness in your heart that needs to be dealt with.   Or comforting you and encouraging you through a difficult period.

You are a temple of the Holy Spirit.   Don’t forget that, especially when you struggle with discouragement or frustration.   If condemning thoughts are swirling around your mind right now, cling to that truth.   Take a moment or two to quiet your heart, and turn to the Holy Spirit.   Make room for him today.   Ask him to help you hear his voice of encouragement and inspiration.   As you turn to him and prepare your heart, notice all the ways he gives you his peace and his wisdom.

Word Among Us

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