Minister's Blog

Reflections from habitat uniting church's minister, Rev Joan Wright Howie.

Where do you want to live?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Where do you want to live?

I mean, really where do you want to live?

If there were no limits, no financial or familial restrictions, where would you want to live?

It’s a pretty challenging question and one you can’t just answer with your head. Your heart and your home place are intertwined…home with where the heart is … ‘where your treasure is, is there your heart will be also.’

When I say ‘I live’, you’ll know that I'm not dead. I could also talk about where I live and describe the house where all my family and things are. That’s where I sleep at night. I could also talk about living in the library, or at the beach and you’ll know that I’m not suggesting that they sleep there, but that I enjoy spending lots of time there.

Another possibility is that I say ‘I live in the moment’ and give my attention to what I'm doing right now. I live amongst the people and issues physical with me at this time instead of checking my email on my phone or letting my mind drift to the thousands of things that I need to get done. I can choose to live in the here and now. To be present in the present moment. To abide with you – right here – as you abide with me….

At your deepest core, where do you long to dwell?

Where do you want to stay?

Where do you want your home to be?

Where would you like to abide?

The Greek word for abide is Memo and can be also translated a number of different ways. It can mean: remain, stay with or live with... The New Testament of the Christian Bible was written in Greek and then translated into English. Jesus invites his friends to Memo in Divine love.

What does Meno meaning here?

To Memo in Divine Love can be to physically stay with. To stay where you are and to continue to live, not die, to keep on keeping on loving It can be to remain emotionally connected. Not change, to remain strong in one's resolve, remain in common purpose with others. It can also be to remain spiritually abiding.

Abide conveys a sense of not to just continuing to exist but to continue to exist under adversity with clarity. It is being deeply present, not changing and shifting attention, but continuing to be present, attached, in tune, in spite of the external circumstances.

Amidst the staying, remaining and abiding, Jesus also implores his friends to live in Divine love. To make our home place love. When we live in Divine love, we will endure, we will grow more real, we wake up and feel alive, we remember that we are one with God, we see the Divine presence in our neighbour and in nature, we are filled with compassion, we cannot tolerate injustice, we sense God’s love living in us and in God’s love we feel at home.

When I ask: where do you want to live?

I wonder stirs in you… What do you most deeply treasure?

Where is your heart?

Where is your home?

Where do we really want to live?

At one level it was a physical question – what house, what suburb, how many rooms, what kind of garden what could you afford?

At another level it is an emotional question – what neighborhood, community, what points of connection, what people to be near, what do you need?

It’s also a spiritual question. What does your heart long for? Where does your heart settle?

For me, my true home is in Divine love. This is where I really want to live. Not simply in a house in a suburb isolated behind a closed door. I want to live in this space of mutual abiding loving engagement.

I recall a moment when I was 15 sitting outside on a grassy slope at the end of a large church gathering and I could sense the air was filled with love. I looked out and up and could literally see the air filled with light particles full of love. The moment came as pure gift, a gift of grace. A taste of what is more real than physically tangible.

This is wher we are connected. This is where, regardless of physical and emotional circumstances, I find pure joy, abiding in Divine love.

 

Habitat Uniting Church Office
2 Minona Street, Hawthorn VIC
phone 9819 2844
office@habitatforspirituality.org.au

St David's Centre
cnr Burke & Mont Albert Rds
Canterbury VIC

Habitat Spirituality Centre
@ Augustine

2 Minona St, Hawthorn VIC

Kew Uniting Church
23 Highbury Grove
Kew VIC