Heading for Home.
It was Dorothy in that classic movie, the Wizard of Oz that said: “There is no place like home.” When the home is all that it should be, the heart longs to be there. Regardless of how long we have been gone or how much fun we have had it is always good to be home. Home is the place that nourishes us and protects us. It is the place that restores us and gives us rest. Home is the place we head to celebrate life’s great achievements and to grieve life’s deepest hurts.
The Apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 5:6, 8-9 that we as believers in Jesus Christ have two homes. “Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at homein the body we are away from the Lord.” In one respect this life is a home for us. After all, it is the only one we know. And yet, there is another home that is waiting for us.
“We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” Ultimately, we were created to be at home with Jesus. This will be the greatest home of them all. Paul concludes with this reminder, “So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in body or away from it.” We live with the same purpose, whether we are at home here or there.
This coming Sunday through Wednesday I will be preaching a revival for my home church in Oakland City. Recently, I have been reflecting on how nice it will be to back in my hometown where it all began. In one respect, I will return home. In another respect, I will be absent from the place I now call home. This reminded me of Paul’s words: we may have 2 homes but only 1 purpose.
The life we live on this earth is lived to please God. The life we will live in heaven will be lived to please God. In Philippians 1:21, Paul explains it this way: “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” To have Christ is to be at home, whether that home is on earth or in heaven. It is possible for us to experience the joy of living for Christ in both places.
For all the goodness of life, embrace the joy that it brings and thank God for it. For all the hardships, remember this is the only life we will have to experience them in. For, there is a life waiting for us that is absent of all of that. We truly do have the best of both worlds: Christ on earth, Christ in heaven, and Christ with us forever!
This week I will enjoy the best of both worlds. I will enjoy returning home. But as I do, I will also give thanks for the place I now call home, Newburgh New Life. Sara, Emerson, and I are blessed beyond measure to call this place home. We do so not because of the place but because of the great people of New Life – our family! Thank you for the way you love us. We love you, New Life!
Grace & Peace,
Pastor Jonathan, Sara & Emerson