With the holidays upon us, we are all hoping to muster up enough holiday cheer to put our current world circumstances out of mind for at least a few hours. Nostalgic thoughts of better times, family memories, childhood holiday magic, and home. Home. Just the word brings a flood of memories or longings in each of us. Home is synonymous with the holidays. No matter the holiday, we all have longings of home to complete the celebration. Home is a feeling of belonging, safety, warmth, love, and comfort that we all crave. As a world, we are all seeking home, whether it is a distant warm memory or the longing of a future we hope for.
“Home is where the heart is.”
“There’s no place like home.”
“I’ll be home for Christmas.”
These are familiar phrases, but each one is packed with different emotions for us. There is something intrinsically built into every human being that longs for and searches for the feelings that home brings. It comes down to feeling loved no matter what, accepted for who you are, safe to be yourself, and freedom to fail. We all put on a brave front when we walk out the front door, but when we walk in the front door, we need to know it’s ok if we ugly cry or have a bad day. We need to know that our people or our person has our back and will be there no matter what.
It has well been established throughout history that home is not always a place but often a person or people that wells up the emotions in us when we hear the word home. Home always includes someone else, real or imagined. I don’t know anyone who has felt that overwhelming joy and completeness that home brings when they are just by themselves. Home invariably includes people from our past who are no longer with us, but their memory gives us the warm feeling we miss so much. It includespeople in our present that when they gather we feel complete, or people we are hoping for in the future that will finish our dream of home. As Christians, those people often include our church family, the family we will spend eternity with.
Have you ever stopped to consider that it was God who placed this longing in each one of us so we would find our home in Him? The words of the old Gospel song ring true, “This world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through…”. As Christians, we are not home yet. Our perfect home awaits us, and when we arrive, all longings will be fulfilled in the God-man, Jesus Christ Himself. (John 14:1-4)
Is it possible, as a Christ-follower, to have home here and now in the grind of this life that is so often overshadowed by the sin that brought us all this trouble? Yes! The fact that God chose heaven as our eternal home is not what will make it feel like home. Being in the presence of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit is what will make it feel like home. And He places a piece of that home in each one of us when we repent and believe on our Lord Jesus Christ. In John 14 Jesus promised His followers that when He left, the Comforter would come. He gave us just enough of our eternal home to get us through the slog of this life but not so much that we would get comfortable here and never want our eternal home in His full presence.
It is our future home, as believers, in the presence of our Heavenly Father that keeps us moving forward. Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (Little Pilgrim’s Progress by Helen L. Taylor is beautiful for children) so aptly weaves the story of each of our lives, the hardship, the temptation, the longing, and finally the fulfillment. Just like Christian’s journey to the Celestial City, each of us walk at different stages. We can look behind us and encourage those following while simultaneously looking ahead and be encouraged by those in front of us. The promise of eternal home is woven throughout the Bible to encourage, exhort, prod, and fulfill us. And so at the end of Revelation 22 we are being beckoned home one final time in verse 17,
“And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” (NKJV)
And in the true spirit of home, Jesus Himself not only invites us in but after we have accepted the invitation, comes after us to bring us home. “Surely I come quickly.” (Revelation 22:20 KJV)
Look for home no longer, dear one. Put the sparkly red shoes away, for you will not need to tap your heels together to get there. Pick up the beautiful Bookwritten to you for your comfort, hope, and peace and read about your future home where there will be complete fulfillment. Live today with the hope of home in your heart, the kind of hope that puts a song in your heart and a smile on your lips. And, in true hospitality, share this hope of home with everyone you meet, because everyone is looking for home.