Sunday, 13 December 2009

Home is where..?

In the course of preaching this morning, I touched on the subject of ‘home’, or more precisely ‘homelessness’. (The context was the Genesis chapter 11, The Tower of Babel and the scattering and fragmentation that resulted.) This afternoon I am enjoying thoroughly enjoying some long awaited time at home, relaxing!

Over the Christmas period trainloads of people will make their way ‘home’ to spend time with people they care about, love, or maybe just feel some connection to.
The concept (and hopefully the experience!) of ‘home’ is a rich one, and a theme that for many conjures up images of log fires, warm welcomes and a sense of belonging. Tim Keller put it like this: Home is where, when you go there, they have to let you in. !! Exclamation marks mine! The context, his book The Prodigal God - which incidentally would make an excellent Christmas present if you still need some ideas – the context was a discussion about the inner homelessness that many people feel in their lives, having left ‘the Father’s house.’

Henri Nouwen picks up the same thought: ‘Though we think of ourselves as followers of Jesus, we are often seduced by the fearful questions that the world presents to us. Without realizing it, we become anxious, nervous, worrying people caught in the questions of survival.. as soon as these so called real issues begin to dominate our lives, we are back in the house of fear’ There is certainly no shortage of fearful questions being voiced around us about the economy, the world and the future etc, that can easily overwhelm us. But as you make your way home this Christmas, let me encourage you to listen to another voice. Again, Henri Nouwen: “Do not be afraid, have no fear”, is the voice we most need to hear. It is the voice that announces a whole new way of being, a being in the house of love, the house of the Lord…. This is not simply a place in the afterlife, a place in heaven beyond this world. Jesus offers us this house right in the midst of our anxious world… “Make your home in me, as I make mine in you” John15v4

Now there’s an invitation not to be missed!