Home, now there is a loaded word! It can bring peace, relief and comfort. For others, it brings fear, uncertainty and dread.
I have been fortunate that I have never felt the latter in conjunction with the word home. I have always had a place or multiple places to call home, which are warm, loving and supportive. They have not always been the same place, but they are where family and those I love are.
Shortly after I was married my parents moved, the houses they moved into (yes houses… long story) but no matter where they were it was home. Besides my family members one of the things that made it home was the smell. Two smells to be exact. The first was the smell of an old leather trench coat my dad had. The smell that thing gave off was a smell of home because it was one of the first things to hit your nose when you walked in the door! The second smell was ANYTHING my mom cooked, from sauerbraten to a Thanksgiving meal, all these smells were uniquely home.
My wife’s family moved when our daughter was quite young. I remember my wife getting quite, I guess the word would be moody and realizing that it was because she longed to be home, even if that home was not Apple Valley any longer. So plans were made, and a trip was made to Ohio. Just walking through the door you could see my wife’s shoulders ease, a lilt came into her voice, she was at home.
The feeling of home has changed over the years, people who once made a house a home, are no longer with us, places once called home are now housing others.
Our devotional text today has Jesus going to his early home such as it was. Capernaum was home base for him, but he longed to be home, truly home. But here is the kicker, he didn’t long to be home for his own desires so much as it was for us. Jesus hanging out in Capernaum with his disciples was locked into time and space as we are. But through the cross and empty tomb Jesus returned home so that he could be at home with us. Jesus is known as Immanuel, which literally means God with us. The Gospel of John begins by telling us that Jesus came and tabernacled among us, littlerally pitched his tent in us. So in even in the dark days of Lent we know that Jesus is at home with us no matter where we find ourselves.