It was April 2022. I was traveling in Europe, serving people surrounded by war, driven from their homes, and fearful for their lives. People’s stories moved me as I heard of miraculous instances of grace where warheads narrowly missed a woman’s home, a boy reunited with his parents in their home, and I met a wife who left her husband to fight for their home. These stories moved me deeply as I wondered how would I feel if my home was enduring such pressure.
After many days out of the country, I was on my way back home when, to my surprise, I was told I wasn’t allowed to return because I had a confirmed case of COVID-19. I was to be confined to a hotel in the Netherlands, away from my team, away from my family, away from my home. I didn’t have my doctor, my comfy bed and clothes, nor my wife. I felt alone and in pain. These were not ideal circumstances as I longed to get well.
The beautiful thing was when I was sick and stuck in Europe, my wife brought home to me. She flew to the Netherlands and changed everything about my circumstances. Just being in her presence even with masks, social distancing, and separate rooms made me feel better.
What does home feel like for you?
Is it a place of peace and security?
Is it a comfortable space where you are free to be yourself?
Maybe home isn’t a place, but it’s being surrounded by the people you love the most.
I realize that for some of you, there has never been a moment you truly felt “at home.” Whether it’s because you moved a lot as a child, your home growing up was a place of noise and chaos, or you never found a place where you truly belonged, the feeling of home may bring up negative memories.
Some of you are looking for “a home.” You have been searching for that place where you see friendly faces and know there will be snacks, laughs, and people who know your name.
Home is where we meet together and eat together.
Every day, they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:46-47).
WOW! Healthy families eat together, pray together, and laugh together. Sometimes, families even have conflict with one another, but ultimately, families that pray together stay together.
God can heal dysfunctional home upbringings through healthy church relationships.
Home is where there is a place for you.
My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am (John 14:2-3).
Home is where you never have to knock. The door is always open for you to return and there is always a place for you to sit, talk, and share your burdens. No judgment and no questions asked.
Home is where we learn to serve God.
But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15).
Families teach us about priorities and respect. Home is where we learn how to support each other, how to bear consequences, and how to use good examples as we navigate life.
Friends, this ministry year, I invite you to Come Home. Come Home to God. Come Home to church.
Come Home to a place where we can meet together and learn to serve God and each other.
Come Home from COVID hibernation.
Come Home from alienation.
Come Home from isolation.
Come Home from exile.
Come Home from separation into a community where there is reconciliation and forgiveness.
I want to invite you to experience Home. Just being in the presence of Jesus will change everything about your circumstances.
This ministry year, let’s have a homecoming! Let’s have a family reunion! Let’s invite all people to COME HOME!
Join me next week as I start a new 4-week sermon series titled “Table Talk (Conversations about Coming Home).” I am excited to see how God uses this ministry year to encourage and strengthen our multicultural family unit and bring people home to God.
Let’s make this ministry year about calling people to Come Home!
Dr. David Anderson
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