When a child asks this question, they are expressing a very real need – the need to be able to ‘place’ God in the world that they are familiar with. She knows that she lives with Mama and Papa, but where is God? The fact that God is invisible doesn’t seem to matter – he exists so he has to live somewhere!
As a parent, this is one of those questions that I want to answer well. In my mind I think, “Yay! My child is showing spiritual interest. This could be the answer that will help propel them to Christ! I better not blow it!! Now, what would be the ‘right’ answer???” Fortunately, the scripture gives us many answers that can be meaningful to the toddler as well as those of us who are older.
God is everywhere – yes. God’s home is in our hearts – yes. God’s home is his temple – yes. God’s temple is his people, so that is his home – yes. God’s home is in Zion – yes. God’s home is in Jerusalem – yes. However, each of these answers can be expanded, modified, further explained and filled in. Like a coloring page for kids, each answer provides a line that draws a picture, but what does the picture really look like?
In this Psalm, David is remembered for his devotion to finding “THE” place, the home for the Ark of the Covenant – God’s home. And the blessing of God is described and promised, the longed-for Shalom of God! As the people sang this Psalm on their way up to Jerusalem they were walking in the steps of David, and all the others who had first established God’s home. They were continuing the journey of the people of faith, returning to the place where God was “placed”. As Christ followers, we know that God’s home is wherever he is welcomed and allowed the opportunity to bring Shalom.
May the Annual Gathering of the American Baptist Churches of Vermont and New Hampshire be a place of Shalom for those who attend. May those of us in the ABC/VNH be a dwelling place for God’s Spirit.
- Greg Vigne
New Hope Baptist Church, Portsmouth and their pastor Arthur Hilson
United Baptist Church, Poultney and their pastor Todd Eaton
Holy Spirit Renewal Ministries of ABC/VNH