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Home at Last…

26November2012

We joined hands to pray around the table on Thursday afternoon, and we were home.

Not that everyone gathered around that table lives in the parsonage. There were two folks from Dublin, one from the west side of Columbus, and three from Chicago…in addition to the two of us who routinely lay our heads to rest in the house across from the church. But in those moments (rare and beautiful) when we are together, the definition of home includes not simply the places in which we reside. It is the family…the community…the gathering itself that makes room for us…that protects and nourishes and loves us. That is home. And it can be found, however fleeting, in many places.

For example: ‘Tis the season when there are college kids back in the area and at Sunday worship. I make sure to greet them with a “welcome home” and a hug. They may live in a dorm room or a campus apartment far away. But this congregation, in its affection and encouragement for them, is home. “Thanks. It’s good to be here.”

For example: A patient now at the hospice center, she has been talking more and more about going home. And it’s clear from the conversation that this is not the particular house in which she and her husband have lived for years. Home is where her parents and her sister are. Home is where the family, in the promise of the resurrection, will gather again and always…where the pain will be gone…and where the tears will be those of joy.

Home, it turns out, is one of the great gifts of grace.

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them…’” As Christians, our vision of home includes the notion that it is populated not simply by the gathering of a few select human beings; it is the place where God chooses to dwell in our midst…gathering, redeeming, sanctifying and loving us…making us one in Him.

And that can happen wherever God chooses for it to happen: at the thanksgiving feast, in the midst of the congregation, by a patient’s bedside, or around the very throne of God which is the destiny of all who love him. God makes the home by his gracious presence.

Come on in.

DLN@CCD

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