Luther Guesthouse in Nairobi was purchased some years ago by LCMS Human Care. It’s a wonderful place to stay when you come into Nairobi. It has a kitchen, a gathering room for eating, a number of bedrooms (beds with mosquito nets), and a couple bathrooms. When you arrive at the Guesthouse, immediately you are met with wonderful hospitality. Last June when we arrived late at night, we had awaiting us a meal of beef, chicken, carrots, cauliflower, and pineapple. It was delicious. At night when you go outside by the empty swimming pool, you can watch the bats fly overhead (not really my favorite). In the morning, you can walk around the Guesthouse yard and experience its daytime beauty. The humming birds and the crowing rooster are both delightful to hear. You may see the groundskeeper sweeping the leaves on the ground with his homemade rake made of tree branches. The Guesthouse, like most homes in Nairobi, is gated – all is safe and secure. As you continue to stroll around the yard, you can see the many beautiful flowers of bright colors, the coffee plants, the palm trees, and the mini waterfall in the yard.
Not everyone’s house in Kenya is as nice as Luther Guesthouse. But whether it’s the mud huts throughout Kenya, or Luther Guesthouse, or the homes in which we live in the US, our eyes are lifted to a much greater house – a mansion even.
In John 14, Jesus says, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
None of our homes on earth compare to our home in heaven. On earth, we build these homes or we have then built. We pay with our money, we work with our own sweat to build our homes. But our home in heaven was no our doing at all. As a matter of fact, we don’t deserve any home in heaven, much less the homes we live in on earth, or a home like the Guesthouse in Nairobi, or even like the many mud huts throughout Kenya. It was only through the sweat, blood, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that we have a home in heaven. While we deserved residency in hell, God took our sin into His own flesh and secured our eternal dwelling in heaven.
In Kenya, most of their homes do not look like ours in the United States. However, when we enter the homes of the Kenyans, the hospitality is overwhelming and the table fellowship is wonderful. But this is for certain: neither their home, nor ours, is permanent. Our real eternal home is in heaven, made secure through the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. “Home Sweet Home” is neither in Kenya nor in the States. “Home Sweet Home” is in heaven forever with Jesus Christ.