Sunday, December 20, 2009

Longing for Home

Even before reading Oldest Daughter's plaintive and pitiable Facebook status yesterday morning-- "no inclement weather, please. i want to go home."--I had noticed a status trend developing over the past couple of weeks:

I can't wait to go home!
One more final and I'm home
3 more days!

From Odysseus striving towards Ithaca, to the Israelites wandering in exile, to the throngs of college students flooding airports, man longs to return home. Or, like Abram and Aeneas, he searches to find home.

As I reflected on the meaning of home, my thoughts dancing back and forth between the physical and the metaphysical ideas of home, distinct yet intertwined, I considered that the meanings were inseparable . The hope of home is a theme woven throughout the Biblical narrative; it is also one of the sublime themes God writes on the hearts of all men, a theme that is woven into the narratives of our lives. Perhaps this is something of what the author of Ecclesiastes meant when he said that God has put eternity into the heart of man.

But, what is this hope of home, this longing for a place where we will find familiarity, completion, acceptance, rest? G.K. Chesterton says it beautifully in the last stanza of his poem The Christmas House:

To an open house in the evening Home shall men come,
To an older place than Eden And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.

In his book, Prodigal God, Tim Keller writes about home, "The houses we inhabit are only inns along the way."

Jesus is the homeland, the home, the rest. The Incarnation, God come into his created world makes it possible for us to come home.

2 comments:

Laura A said...

Thanks. This is a lovely thing to contemplate as I fly "home" today. I hope your daughter enjoys her visit!

jerry said...

love to see this discussion! It’s great to see you all working through the issues and also, it’s great to see recommendations for testing. In the end, it’s what your actual users do and prefer that should be your biggest driver in making these decisions.

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