For the last week I have explored the byways of the Portland, OR area – lofty mountains, beautiful rivers, a huge bookstore downtown, a rural church, a college campus … and I have been ‘at home’ in the home of my children. It’s been wonderful to spend time with them and get to know where they are and experience their lives but now, I’m ready to go home! I guess I am, by nature, a homebody because I truly appreciate being in my town, buying coffee at the same shop, and being truly HOME.
Home is much more than a house, isn’t it? We are ‘at home’ when we are among people who love us, those with whom we ‘do life’ serving in ways that make our lives richer because we are a small part of something larger than ourselves. I believe that God has make it a part of us to desire to contribute, to experience life together. Service, done well and from the heart, ennobles us!
The late Kingman Brewster (1918-1988), a president of Yale University and a public servant, said “There is no greater challenge than to have someone relying upon you; no greater satisfaction than to vindicate his expectation.” In other words, it challenges Self to serve, but it is immensely rewarding to do it well and in a way that makes us part of a supportive web. That is the true ‘home.’
Our culture lauds independence, making our own way in life. “I don’t need anybody else” is a way of life that is barren. The idea of ‘self-sufficiency’ is largely mythical. Those who pursue life apart from ‘home-making’ will find themselves emotionally crippled, alone, and spiritually useless! The richness of love, not the sappy stuff of romance novels, but the robust, bold love that “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:7, NIV) is the soul of the best life. So, I’m looking forward to going home, plugging back into my network, and doing what God calls me to do each day.
What about you, disciple? Are you creating a ‘home’ where you are doing the sometimes seemingly impossible, always costly, work of weaving a strong web that ties you to others? Some will nourish you. Some will require you to feed and serve. Both are part of love.
Here is a word from the Word. As you meditate on these Spirit-words, my prayer is that they will call you to make your home among God’s people, making strong ties, finding a rich life that extends into Eternity – our forever home. “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:7-11, NIV)
Wherever there is laughter ringing,
Someone smiling someone dreaming,
We can live together there,
Love will be our home.
Where there are words of kindness spoken,
Where a vow is never broken,
We can live together there,
‘Cause love will be our home.
If home is really where the heart is,
Then home must be a place we all can share.
For even with our diff’rences
Our hearts are much the same.
For where love is we come together there.
With love our hearts can be a family,
And hope can bring this family face to face,
And though we may be far apart
Our hearts can be as one,
When love brings us together in one place.
Love will love will be our home,
Love Will Be Our Home
Chapman, Steven Curtis
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