I enjoyed an interesting moment while reading Psalm 119 this morning. I noted how the priest says, “I am a sojourner on the earth.” I’ve always loved this idea of Christians just traveling through earth on the way to heaven. There’s a lightness about the idea. There’s a sense of not clinging to things so tightly. We are strangers here. Our real home is heaven.
But when I looked up the word “sojourner” in the Hebrew, I noted that in some cases, it translates from the word “guest.” We are guests upon the earth, invited by God to enjoy our visit. What a different sense of the word! I normally think of the expression “sojourner” as aligned with being an alien and stranger (Ephesians 2:19); it’s a negative connotation. Strangers don’t belong. Strangers don’t enjoy their time. Strangers aren’t part of the party.
But what if we’re also to see our time here as being God’s guests? I consider a shift in my attitude; I’m invited as a guest to this day. I think of God laying out the delights, the comforts, the sights, and the experiences a host might provide for a beloved guest who is passing through. A guest worries over nothing; the host provides everything. And God is a fabulous host.