Marsha and I got home last night from our Wesley Tour of England and Ireland. I know that many of you have followed us on Facebook, including my brief videos at various Wesley sites. It was a good trip, and I am especially grateful to Rev. Norm Nellis, who is our Indiana Area coordinator for Educational Opportunities (the tour group with whom we plan these trips). Norm is one of our many retired UM clergy in Indiana who find interesting and creative ways to serve in retirement. So, thanks, Norm, and everyone else on the trip for a good experience.
Even though it was a great trip, it is good to be home. There is something about "home" that always feels right. As Robert Frost put it, "Home is the place where when you have to go there, they have to take you in." More than that kind of acceptable and unconditional love, "home" is a comfortable place where we can feel "at home."
If you have traveled this summer, I hope you have also enjoyed coming home. I pray that you have received a "welcome home" or "it's good to be home" kind of reception.
I am reminded that Jesus talked about our relationship with God in those kind of "home" images. In John 14 he tells the disciples that he is going away (his death and resurrection) to prepare a place for us, and he tells us that in his Father's mansion there is plenty of room for us. We often think of those images in terms of heaven or our life with God after death, but the Gospel of John wants us to understand that eternal life begins now. Whenever we enter into this kind of "homey" relationship with God through Jesus Christ we find our sense of "home" in this world and beyond.
So being "at home" is not just about a place or a time or an event in life/death – it is about being "at home" with God and with ourselves in a true relationship with God. It is the basis for the comments we sometimes make about a person that they are "at home with themselves" or they are "comfortable in their own skin." They only way to achieve such a comfort level is by discovering that we are already at home with God.
Home: it is a good place to be. At home: it is a good feeling to have. At home in my relationship with God through Jesus Christ: it is our true and eternal relationship.
It is good to be home.