“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” – Robert Frost
58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Luke 9:58 (ESV)
Home. What was “home” for Jesus?
For most of us the idea of “home” is such an assumption we don’t really think about it much. But perhaps this very difficult winter has provided time to pause and reflect. For many of us, there have been multiple times the past few months when we either could not leave home or could not get back to our home due to the weather. And then when we did get home, we found ourselves trapped in that home for hours and days at a time. Even our “church home” had to make the difficult decision to close one Sunday.
Is “home” somewhere you love to be? Or is “home” simply the place you are between work and school and sports and the rest of life? Or is “home”, as Robert Frost puts it, the place where they have to take you in?
Recently we bought a house. And by we, I mean all of us, our congregation. The Haugen house, the white two story in the alley next to the church, was offered at fair market value to the congregation as part of Ann’s legacy and estate. At our annual meeting we voted to purchase the property. The property is in very good shape and has required very little work from our Men’s Club. We are now in process of renting it out until such as time as it becomes clear what the next step should be to best enhance the mission and ministry of our church. Meanwhile, it is my prayer that the Haugen house provides a very nice new home for a family.
But again, what did Jesus consider “home”? Jesus’ life ends penniless, friendless, and by all visible accounts, hopeless. During the week before his crucifixion, the home of Mary and Martha had served as base camp, a sort of second home for Jesus. But still, staying at someone else’s home never really feels like home, does it? At the foot of the cross were Mary and but one disciple, John, the disciple whom Jesus loved. We can assume that the other Mary and Martha and Lazarus were there as well, although the record of who stood at the foot of Jesus’ cross a bit sketchy.
Jesus lived on earth for thirty-three years. There is no indication in scripture that he ever built or bought a house, even though as a carpenter, he certainly could have. Unlike most of us, Jesus did not “invest” in real estate, or have a need to plan for his retirement. Jesus always knew where his real home lie. And in the end, after his crucifixion, “home” is where Jesus planned to retire.
28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” John 16:28 (ESV)
The Prodigal God, the Father, who welcomed his son Jesus home with open arms.
In Christ’s Loving Service, Pastor Steve