My wife, Shelby, and I have been married 6 years this Saturday. We have moved 5 times since being married. Do the math.
That’s right, we have had the pleasure of taking all our things from one place and moving them to another on 5 separate occasions. As you can imagine, moving about once per year is not the most enjoyable way to spend one’s time. But with repetition comes proficiency and by now we are moving masters.
We weren’t always this way, oh no. In fact, the second time we moved was probably the closest we have come to throwing everything, including our kind, loving words for one another, in the mud. We decided that it would be no big deal to put everything we own into the moving truck ourselves. A few hours after starting, I was dragging our mattress on a small piece of plastic through the mud while we both had mental breakdowns in disbelief of how difficult it was to move by ourselves.
Thankfully, we had some people waiting for us at our new place and we were able to unload in 20 minutes. What a world of difference a few friends can make. We’ve repeated this process multiple times, all in search of a place to call home.
Where is Home?
Home is a funny thing. Some of us live in a college dorm room, an apartment, or a house, but never feel home. Some of us travel frequently and always feel displaced. Some of us walk into a community or church building and feel unwelcomed. These are all places where we are either literally home or should feel at home - so what gives?
Here are 3 ways Jesus welcomes us home wherever we are:
Jesus is Home
Jesus helps us find home by providing home in him. Jesus sees us for who we truly are, all our flaws and failures, and warmly welcomes us home with open arms right where we are. Just as the prodigal son who took his inheritance – essentially saying his father was dead to him – and wasted it all away was welcomed home by a loving father, so are we welcomed home by God.
When we choose to follow Jesus, we choose to find a home in him. When we need to find shelter, purpose, and rest, we may find it in Jesus. And when we find our home in Jesus, he provides a family larger, more diverse, and more meaningful than any we’ve ever experienced.
Our New Family
Jesus welcomes us not just to find home in him, but in the family of faith - the Church.
The Church isn’t just a building or an organization, it is a community of people on mission to faithfully and fully follow Jesus together. The Church is God’s plan to renew & redeem all of creation.
How else would you heal a world full of hurting, displaced, broken people?
We don’t have to go through life alone. We don’t have to stay in a place of displacement or loneliness. We have the biggest, craziest, most eclectic family there is! When we lean into the community of faith, a community that is expressed differently all throughout the world but united in following Jesus, we find a family that fills our home with warmth, laughter, and love.
And just like any other family, our big faith family has some family values.
A lot of us like Jesus. Many enjoy meeting others that make up the Church. But oftentimes, we miss the mission.
Following Jesus isn’t just about warm feelings, meeting new people, or checking a box on a form; it’s about bringing his kingdom here on Earth. Jesus told us himself to pray: “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth, as it is in Heaven.” Not, ‘forget Earth so we can go to Heaven,’ but “on Earth, as it is in Heaven.”
When we enact our family values, the values of the kingdom of God, we help establish God’s rule & reign. We expand the kingdom. And when we expand the kingdom, everywhere starts to look like home.
People who never feel welcomed are welcomed to experience life change. Those who are oppressed are lifted up. Those who are lost are brought home.
When we find our home in Jesus, we are welcomed into the family of God and start to live out the family values of love, justice, kindness and mercy. We not only find the truest sense of home we will ever find, but we also welcome the world to experience home in a brand-new way.
What’s your next step? Finding home in Jesus? Meeting the family that fills that home? Or learning and living out the family values?
We’re all on a journey; whatever it is today, take your next step.