Friday, July 16, 2010

Going Home

I often am asked the question whether or not I feel like Arizona is home yet. I've been here almost three years now, and I tend to say "yes." But I'm beginning to question about my answer. I wonder if I can even answer the question honestly.

Where is home? Is the house where I grew up in Tacoma, WA? Is it in Portland, OR, the city I most love and the location where I became an adult? Is it here in Arizona, in our new house? What happens if/when we move? What if our house burns down? Where does our home go?

The dictionary defines home as such: the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household. Yet in our ever-transient society, with shifting jobs and housing foreclosures and going off to college, we're never anywhere permanently.

In a way, we're all homeless.

So when Jesus tells his followers in John 14 that He is preparing a place for them in his Father's house, it touches something deep within all of us. We all have this inner longing for a home, a permanent place of rest and peace and comfort and joy. Some of our homes reflect this environment; many do not.

Jesus goes on to say that he won't leave you and me as orphans, that he will come for us and bring us Home, that we'll find a permanent living place as a member of God's family. Then he makes a remarkable statement: if we love Jesus and obey his teaching, he and the Father and the Holy Spirit will come and make their home with us.

This is a strange and beautiful twist on our concept of home. Our true Home is with God some day, yet he also makes His home with us here and now.

We're not homeless; we're homes. We are the dwelling place for God's Spirit while we eagerly anticipate our future Home with Him, pointing other people Home to Him. We find our Home in him as He dwells in us.

Maybe that's a new way to articulate the message of the Gospel: Jesus makes a way for us to go home.

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