I made a few trips home this summer. A few extra trips because of Dad’s battle with heart failure, kidney disease, and Steven’s-Johnson Syndrome. Earlier this month, I travelled down because his heart was failing, I stayed for a week to help arrange and participate in his memorial after his heart had had enough. As a family, we hoped for a more time. We were thinking about him holding his great-grandson who will enter this life later this month. We were thinking about Dad’s 84th birthday in December. None of those things will happen.
Traveling back and forth from here in Alabama to the state of my birth and formative years, I thought a good bit about home.
Even though Mom and Dad moved out of the house they raised us in (they moved 24 years ago), where they live is still home. Even now as I think about Mom being there without Dad, it is in some way, still home. I suppose every healthy family feels that way.
Home – Going Home.
There is something wonderfully sweet about thoughts of home. Maybe the people, maybe the food, maybe the history or stories, maybe the scenery, or maybe because most of us feel a sense of belonging at home. Some of us are fortunate to have multiple homes – the one that raised us, the one that raised our spouse, and the one we share with our own family. Each of them are a part of our identity, each of them provide place we belong.
What images or thought come to your mind when someone mentions home? Do you think of family, comfort, fun, holidays, school breaks, a warm fire, or the smell of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies? Do the lyrics of John Denver as he sings about Country Roads taking him home stir memories? Do you choke up when Daughtry sings I’m Going Home to the place that I belong?
There is something about going home. There is something sweet in the thought. There is something sweet in the memories, smells, and sounds. There is something sweet about the words.
The people of the tribes of Rueben, Gad, and 1/2 Manasseh felt that sweetness, “So the people . . . returned home.” (Joshua 22:9).
Even the prophet Samuel had respite from his work when “He would return to Ramah, for his home what there.” (1Sa 7:17).
There is something about Going Home.
The Apostle Paul reminds the Corinthians and us that our life here is really about preparing for our permanent, eternal home.
“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.” 2Co 5:1-9
Going Home, that is where the Father is.
Going Home, that is where the Savior is.
Going Home, home to where God’s children throughout the ages will be.
As MercyMe sings, “Almost home, brother it won’t be long, soon all your burdens will be gone . . .”