“The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” Matthew 7:25
We had a house blessing last night with our priest. He came to our home, sprinkled holy water everywhere, said specific things about each room’s function, spoke prayers, and made a sacramental of our domestic church. Before he showed up it was a flurry of vacuuming, last minute dishes for dinner, putting unfolded laundry into the closet to conceal the undone chore. It wasn’t shining and like the pages of a home style magazine. Yet, it was made a holy place, a place dedicated to God and serving Him.
Our house still looks the same. It’s still got cosmetic flaws that need mending, rose bushes that need a severe trimming, and the occasional rodent that will get in through the bitter cold of Minnesota winter. It’s going to get messy again. It’s got a messy dining room table full of lunch dishes as I type this. My sons did their dishes from the day but forgot those. I promise that one of my daughters will kvetch about dishes tonight and the stove top will go without being wiped.
I have eleventy loads of laundry to fold still and about twenty more to wash after our camping adventures and three weeks without a husband to help with the unpacking of that trip. There will always be a spill, or a sofa stain, or an unswept floor. Yet, our house was made a holy place.
There will be arguments, and sibling fights. There will be frustrated stomps and overflowing toilets and laundry left in the washer too long before the dryer. We will have missed trash days, broken screens, and forgotten corners that collect all of the cobwebs. Yet, our house was made a holy place.
Our priest didn’t, to my gratitude, go into the basement that is just a wreck right now. He graciously overlooked our mostly done, but still needing to be finished upstairs paint job. He asked if we had chickens and bees (we do not, but it’s on my list!) and he blessed every room of our house.
It will never shine like the world’s glorious cathedrals. It will never be polished like the gleaming golden fixtures that adorn the altar in the sanctuary, but our home was made a holy place and in this holy place we gather as a family every night. We eat dinner that was prepared in the kitchen that was blessed, at the table that was blessed, with our family that was blessed. We sit down nightly to read the Word and contemplate it before pray as a family. No matter what the day has for our family, these two things always happen every night: family dinner and family devotion.
“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” Joshua 24:15
We live and play in this house. We do our schooling at our dining room table. Children make toy messes that span the length of the living room. Boys make bathroom messes daily around the toilet. Walls get crayon stick people adorning them from time to time, and also chart the growth of our family. It is blessed. It is a holy place.
We live in a harsh world. Sending my family out of our domestic church daily is a difficult thing when it has to happen and I rejoice when they come back home. My house will never be kept perfectly in order, but as far as my family goes, we shall serve the Lord and that’s what matters the most. I pray that more families get back to these two fundamental elements of family life: food and faith together. They will make a world of difference and a difference in the world.