Reading: Psalm 84:1-7
How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, indeed it faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
Even the sparrow finds a home
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
my King and my God.
Happy are those who live in your house,
ever singing your praise. Selah
Happy are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
As they go through the valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
the God of gods will be seen in Zion.
When news of Loretta Lynn’s passing happened in early October, I heard an interview with her from the 50 year anniversary of her being a country music singer. In it, she talked about her childhood and growing up poor. One of eight children, they lived in a tiny home in rural Kentucky. Walking around a replica of the home that stands on the grounds of her Tennessee ranch, she told her interviewer, “we thought it was a mansion. We thought it was a mansion.”
I couldn’t help but think of Loretta Lynn’s humble childhood home when I read the Psalm lesson for today. “Even the sparrow finds a home and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young.” A swallow is more commonly known as a “barn swallow,” because they make their nests in the rafters of barns. They find a good spot and make it their home. Nestled in that little corner of the barn, it is safe from predators and harsh weather. I wonder if the sparrows think that the whole barn is their mansion.
“How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts….Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise.”
As children of God, we are taught that God is all around us. In God, “we live and move and have our being,” like a fish in water. Like a barn swallow made safe in a giant barn. Like a little kid who thinks their house is a mansion. God is always with us, no matter where we are in the world. I can’t think of a better way to start the day than knowing that God’s love dwells with us. I hope that today, you have a moment to dwell with God, and take in a moment of God’s enormous, mansion-like love for you.
Gracious and loving God,
Thank you for dwelling with us and giving us a home in your love. Thank you for all of the ways that we can sing your praise in a new day. Help us remember that there is a place for everyone in the mansion of your love.