In our culture, an Open House is a part of what we do and it stretches into different genres. We utilize these for schools as they open up their doors so parents can meet the teacher, see the school and find out more of what is going on. It’s good to take advantage of these moments, maximizing the time we have with our kids and their school days. Being a part of these times reflects an intent to be involved as an active parent, seeking the best for our families.
We also have Open Houses for real estate as people seek to sell their homes inviting others to take a tour and see if it meets their needs. Real estate agents put signs out the in yard, promote on social media and do their best to get traffic to the home that has opened its doors. This is a big way many people discover a home because they have a chance to see it, feel it and imagine themselves in it.
However, these Open Houses are for a select group of people. For these examples, it’s for parents of kids in school and for those who are seeking to buy a home. This meets the need of a niche of people, while others wait their turn to fit in it.
But there is another Open House that is for all people in every stage of life!
Yes, this is a Heavenly House that welcomes all people and reaches for more every day. It’s not satisfied with a few because it’s for the whole world, and it constantly has room for more. It accepts all people in spite of their record, their issues, their struggles or their failures. This house is built on the grace and mercy of God that was made possible by what Jesus did on the cross and through His resurrection. Because of Christ’s obedience, this house is eternal and will never go away. Its doors are always open and the greeting is, “You are welcome, accepted and forgiven!”
Our challenge is to exhibit this same attitude in our sphere of influence. This may sound basic, but we (and churches) are tempted to resist this position and gauge people based on status, race, gender, denomination, style and more. This creates cliques that act like some are welcome and others aren’t. But this grieves Jesus, because His arms are opened wide to all people no matter what! This is revealed when churches reach out as an Open House are labeled as seeker, shallow, compromising and simple. This is a wrong position and idea of God’s church!
“The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, “Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.” After the servant had done this, he reported, “There is still room for more.” So his master said, “Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full.”Luke 4:21-23
This reflects Jesus. Open House and this reflects how every Church should be!
Our choice is this: Will we come into alignment with Him to fulfill His heart for each individual. This means we look past ourselves and what we think church should be. We choose to see the masses as where His heart resides, so we reach out with an Open House! When we do this we give them a place to belong in a world of rejection and we give back to others what someone gave to us. It’s so vital that we remember the process we went through and how we came to Christ, so we allow that process for others. It’s crazy that anyone would be given kindness, patience, mercy and acceptance coming to Christ, but then turn around and put that same effort down when reaching for others.
Now is our moment to be what Jesus is to those around us and that is an Open House for all! It’s not Baptist, Methodist, Charismatic or Calvinism – but rather it’s Jesus. When we put Jesus into practice it looks different than religion or a theology book. Please understand all these groups and items are not wrong, but when we live out our faith with real people, we face circumstances that only the love and power of God can touch. This is why we must be an Open House, giving a safe place for anyone to receive His touch and His grace. Our objective is not to convert them into our group, but rather we lead them into more of Jesus. This is our mission! This is what He wants from His Church!
So will you be an Open House?
I hope you will say yes, because we need you! We need the efforts of everyone to trump racism, pride, injustice, religion, idol words, empty promises and hollow efforts. People are dying, and they are right next to us daily, needing acceptance and a place they can go to find reprieve from their struggles. Jesus is the answer, so we must set aside our agendas and territories and love people more purely. We must desire what is best for them over what we gain so that Christ is lifted high!
I encourage you to take your place. Take your part and run with it. Give away what was given to you. This is our moment and this is our time!
Have a great week and the best is yet to come!