The first part of Colossians 3:16 says “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly..” The word translated home is the word used to be welcome or to feel comfortable and at home. In other words, there is no place like home. Home is where we can be ourselves. Though the home is considered a loving and nurturing place, it is also a place for correction as well as encouragement.

Many years ago my wife and son and I were visiting friends, my intention was that we would all go out to eat together after the church service. My friend did not communicate that evidently and we were invited to their home for dinner. It became quite apparent that we were in the midst of a domestic dispute. Throughout the meal the atmosphere was tense and we were most uncomfortable. As soon as we could excuse ourselves we left, just across town were some folks we had known when they lived in our state, knowing that we were visiting their area they invited us to come and spend the afternoon with them. They were gracious and kind and it was like we had never been apart. They made sure we were comfortable, asked if we needed something to drink, and gave us a tour of their home. We laughed and reminisced, and there was a feeling of genuine sadness when it became time to leave and begin our journey home. Two different homes and two different feelings. In the first home, we felt somewhat like an intrusion, though appearances were kept up, there was no feeling of “take off your shoes and stay for a while.’ At the second home we were treated not just like old friends, but like family. We were made to feel welcomed and it was relaxing and refreshing. In one home we were a tolerated interruption and in the other, we were made to feel “at home.”

Feeling welcomed and appreciated had nothing to do with architecture or the furnishings in the house. It was not even a matter of location. It was entirely the result of our treatment by the hosts.

Paul says that we are to “let” the Word of God dwell in us richly. Just as I received a different reaction and welcome from two different groups of people, what reception to you and I give the Word? Do we allow the Bible to be at home in our lives? God’s Word is it allowed to feel at home in our lives? Do you have a Bible reading plan? More importantly, do you allow the Bible to read you? I am not asking if you believe in God’s Word, I am asking do you allow it to have a central place in your life? Or is it little more than an intrusive interruption?

It is not enough to race through our Bible reading so that we can check it off as something on our “to-do list.” When we are at home we linger with those that we love. Home is not so much a place of hurry, but a safe and welcoming place where we invest much time in our families and ourselves. For many, the Bible is nothing much more than a good-luck charm brought out when there is an abnormal problem and when that has been safely navigated the Scriptures are relegated back to a dusty bookshelf.

I trust that this year we will allow God’s Word to dwell in us richly. May we read, memorize, meditate, study, and apply the words to every area of our lives.

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