Leaving Home – Finding Home
September 27, 2008 § Leave a comment
It is never easy, comfortable, or even natural to leave home. Our family has learned this and I suspect that somewhere in the journey yours has too. Whenever we do our context gets all discombobulated – relatives suddenly are not so accessible, the physics of friendships are altered, familiarity goes out the window.
I can’t imagine Abram’s (later Abraham) dread of picking up and moving to an unknown land simply because God said, ‘Leave…’ (Genesis 12:1ff) – but that is what he did. Back in Abram’s day, those who followed the One True God, worshipped Him with a sacrifice by building an altar to offer an animal in celebration and acknowledgement of His presence and Lordship.
That sacrifice meant more than the offering that it was – it also signified the recognition that God had not removed His presence because of geography. Accommodating all the fear, uncertainty and discomfort of leaving the familiar, the God who never leaves nor forsakes us, reassured Abram that He already dwelled where He had led His servant. So when Abram left home, he also found it – because, as Frederick Buechner puts it (The Longing for Home), “Home is where Christ is.”
In that vein, I marvel at Jeff and Jodie McMullen. If you go to their blog (www.mcmullen.wordpress.com) you’ll find that Jeff describes himself as a ‘pastor-type’ and Jodie describes herself as a ‘mother-type’ – trust me – they are what they see themselves as. And yet, as normal as they are and appear to be, God has called them to take their children and move to Vienna with a missions team – to leave familiarity, family, friends – home – and believe that when they get there, He’ll be waiting. Only the Gospel can be so compelling.
You can see and hear what they have been called to in the video below, but as you do, be blessed – because Buechner is right. This can’t help but bring relief and hope to all who find themselves relocated, disenfranchised, discouraged, demoralized, distanced by their own sin and guilt, imprisoned by their shame, impaired by their weakness and fearful of what lies ahead – it isn’t really a geography ‘thing,’ is it.
We define home based on the people and things we hold dear – and there is everything right with that: a memory, a house, a yard, a familiarity, a town/city, family, friends, crises, etc. The list is endless, really. But in the end, heaven is the home all creation longs for – and it is the home we will one day enjoy – because Jesus has made us His.
And that is Good News.
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