26 November 2019

Hello! It’s great to be with you again today. Welcome to Tuesday’s Foundations Podcast. This week, as we are continuing to journey through Ephesians, we’re asking in these challenging and seemingly uncertain times that we live in – how can we have hope? And how can we share that hope with others?


I wonder if you asked your friends or family members who don’t know Jesus, how would you describe the church? I wonder which words they would use? What images might come to mind? As a youth worker here at STC, I’ve asked our young people that same question. I’ve had all sorts of answers ranging from the very positive – a place of love, friendship and  belonging to the not so good – boring, irrelevant or weird. For the record, I would like to point these young people aren’t describing our church here at STC.

It’s interesting isn’t it? I’ve asked that question about church a lot and yet I’ve never once heard the answer– hope! And yet, it seems that as we look at these passages from Ephesians – my goodness we should be the number one place where people experience and know that there is hope.

Why? Listen to Paul’s words in verse 22 from today’s reading:

And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

The Message paraphrase describes the church like this – The place where God is building a home.

This might not be everyone’s experience I know but I really love coming home. As I reach the door at the end of a working day, and I rattle my keys in the lock I often hear the sudden pitter-patter of feet and my children, Naomi and Isaac, shout excitedly, ‘ Daddy’s home!’. I open the door and I’m greeted by hugs and kisses often before I’ve even had time to get my boots and coat off. I’ve done none of the parenting really that day but I receive all the adoration I can get. And I love it!

As the famous saying goes…there’s no place like home!

The home, our home is often a place of great significance for us. For many it’s a place of comfort. A place of safety. It’s where we belong. A place of refuge. A place of rest. It’s a place where we can be real. A place where we laugh and where we cry. A place where we party and maybe even where we work and study. It’s where life happens! It’s the place we want to be. There really is no place like home.

And yet we also know that’s not always people’s experience of home. Home is or was a place of anger, of stress, of worry, pain and struggle. For some a place of sorrow or others a place of loneliness. A place where we didn’t feel like we belonged. A place we couldn’t wait to leave.

And yet Paul is saying this, in today’s passage, whatever our experience of home – good or bad, there is a place, a people, a new community where we can find ourselves totally at home…and that’s in his church, with his people. Why? Because that’s where God is!

And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

We are part of something much bigger and more beautiful that we could ever imagine. We are the church. The New Testament gives us different pictures and analogies of what the church is but here’s the reason for us to have hope this day – because we carry the one who is hope. God literally dwells in us, the church. As Paul writes in Colossians, Christ in us – the hope of glory. That’s the place where God has chosen to make his home!

As we heard yesterday, we, the church, are a hope-filled people. And God so desires that we be a people who share that hope that we have found in him with others. Who in these challenging times when others are complaining about yet about yet another election, yet another scandal, yet another funding cut. Those who are struggling with yet more relationship heartache. Yet more problems with health. Yet more worry about their future, the kids, their jobs. God so desires that we be the ones who carry his presence into those places, those situations with those people and say – come and see where I find hope. Come and see where I feel like I belong. Come see the place where I can truly be real. Be loved. Be cared for. Be encouraged. Be lifted up. Come and see the place that I call home.

Paul paints a beautiful picture here in today’s passage of a new united community that God is building – his church, his home! A people and a place of hope.

Today let’s ask God to fill us, to fill our communities, our churches again with his hope. And let’s be a people who through how we live today say to others – there is a place where you are welcome, where you can know this hope too. Come and check out my church this Advent and Christmas. Here’s an invite!


God, thank you that that you have made your home in us. Oh what an incredible truth that is. We pray, ‘Come, Holy Spirit.’ Fill my life afresh today.  Fill your church with hope this day! And help us to be that hope and call others to know that hope through the way in which we live for you today. Amen

BIBLE READING: Ephesians 2:17-22

He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.