HOME SWEET HOME — There’s NO PLACE like HOME!!
What exactly IS it that makes something feel like HOME??? Is it a place? People? State of mind? A bit of all three perhaps? Some folks will immediately think of their childhood home… Others will automatically think of the place shared with those LOVED most intimately — a place where we can remove the masks (not the COVID type!) we wear daily in the outside world… Still others may picture yet another place — perhaps a special vacation spot, or a place in nature where the spirit most feels “at home…”
Christian historian and author Diana Butler Bass suggests something DEEPER… that being “at home” begins with – BEING AT PEACE WITH YOURSELF. In her book GROUNDED she says that the places we come to know as “home” involve “a soul connection that brings forth a different sort of knowing about God, nature and oneself. HOME is a place where GOD SOMEHOW MEETS US — and where we BELONG…”
As theologian Frederick Buechner puts it in his book LONGING FOR HOME, “The home we all long for and belong to is the place where CHRIST is. No matter how much the world shatters us to pieces, we carry inside us a vision of wholeness that we sense is our true home — and that beckons to us…”
When I was young, my church school teacher once asked us what it would be like if we invited Jesus to come for dinner? We all imagined cleaning like mad, getting dressed up and putting out the best china! Then she asked us what it would be like if Jesus moved in? Hmmmm…. that might mean having to be on our best behavior! …wow. Finally, she asked us what it would it feel like if we invited Jesus to live inside of us? Inside our mind— and in our heart — ALL THE TIME? GOOD QUESTION.
If we “live in Christ,” we are invited to leave behind our old ways of being/thinking/doing and to live out a whole new life style… As Paul told the Ephesians, we are called to — Be honest in speech, be generous toward the needs of others, be kind, be in right relationship with each other and live with a determination to forgive — as we have been forgiven. In short — we are called to BE A HOME OF LOVE.
At NMCC we come together, trying as best we can to live out that calling as a community of fellow journeyers on THE ROAD HOME. The late Stephen Paulus composed an exquisitely beautiful choral anthem using that title (click here to listen) which our own choir will be singing this Sunday. In the final verse Jesus calls each of us to:
“Rise up, follow me — come away is the call With the love in your heart as the only song There is no such beauty as where you belong Rise up, follow me, I will lead you home.“