Is “home” where you were born? Is it where your parents live? Is it where you know the rules and crave the local barbeque? Or is “home” is where your favorite chair sits? Is it where you pick up your mail? Pay the rent? Perhaps “home” is a work in progress—a dream that you hope to make real?
My grandfather DeWolf would have answered without pause. He lived from birth to death in the same Dutch farmhouse in northern New Jersey. He knew exactly where home was. On the other hand, my wife Amy and I have led a far more mobile existence. In twenty-three years of marriage, we have nested in New Jersey, Texas, Georgia and New York. We also spend time every summer in North Carolina and Minnesota.
A few weeks ago, while locking the door to the small house in Duluth, Minnesota that used to belong to Amy’s grandmother, my bride and I engaged in a familiar litany. “Where’s home?” Amy asked. My response never varies, “It’s where you are, darling!”
I wonder… Is home the scent in the air and the soil under your feet? Or is it the people who stand around you? Maybe it’s both.
In August, I stopped by FAPC to check on Vacation Bible School. Among the energetic kids, I ran into a mom I hadn’t seen in a couple months. “How are you doing?” She took a deep breath, looked around at her friends and their children, smiled at me and said, “It feels so good to be here.”
Maybe home is that magic combination of place and people that feels comfortable, happy and safe.
Near the end of his life, the prophet Moses was traveling through the wilderness with people who had recently escaped from slavery. As they moved through the desert, the people kept asking their leader: “Where’s home? Where’s this promised land?” Responding, Moses assured them that: “The eternal God is thy dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” (KJV, Deut. 33:27)
When considering the question “Where’s home?” our tradition answers by pointing to God.
God is home!
This Sunday is Homecoming Sunday at FAPC. It’s time, my friends, to breath deeply of the sanctuary’s air, to hear the choir’s voices swell, to see beloved faces, and, most of all, to be surrounded by God’s everlasting arms. Come home!
Oh, and before you come, would you do me a favor? Would you please watch this two-minute excerpt of “The Wayside Motor Inn”? I think it is a perfect conversation starter as we begin our new sermon series!
Eager to see you in worship,