Robert Frost once wrote, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” While Frost was referring to a fictional character, returning to a familiar place to spend his last hours, I believe the same truth applies to us in the real world for the whole of our lives.
The home I’m thinking of is not a place bound by geography. Home is larger in scope and significance. Home, for many, is more defined by a feeling. The word I use is peace. Home should be where peace is found. For many of us, home is also defined by people. For example, both sides of our family gather on any number of occasions throughout the year at any number of places. When we get together, the location is not nearly as important as the people. Home is not about a place or an address. Home is bigger than that.
What is interesting is how silent the Hebrew Scriptures are concerning the idea of home. Of course, they refer to homes, and folks have homes, but it is never a central theme. Once into the New Testament, home does play a role in Jesus’ life, but ironically its significance is more about the fact that Jesus did not have a home. Throughout the Gospels, people are trying to figure out where Jesus is from? (John 9:30) And at one point, Jesus says that he does not have a place to lay his head (Luke 9:58). Before it is all over though, we are told what sort of eternal significance home will have. We get some clarity on home. In Revelation 21:3 a voice from the throne declares, “the home of God is among mortals.”
How often, in our songs, our stories, and even our teaching, have we professed that our eternal home is some place else? Yet here, the final word seems to indicate that heaven comes crashing into earth. God’s Kingdom, finally come, will be here on earth. The eternal reign of God, where peace and mercy and justice and love prevail, will be here, with us, where we have always been.
As we approach Homecoming, with the thought that God’s home will one day again be here on earth, what sort of preparations should I be taking now? If Revelation tells of God’s Homecoming to earth, and God’s peace will reign, should I begin living in ways compatible with that? I believe that is the message of this church.