Called to come home
May 11, 2015
by Pastor Tim Wheatley, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato

May brings us two very big events, Mothers Day, and the end of the school year. (I know, you will say that school doesn’t end until June, and of course, you would be right, but try convincing the seniors of that.)

This is a time of people returning home to mother, and others preparing to leave for new ventures. It is a time when one of the common questions at the high school is, “What are you going to do next year?” It is a time when we get ready to say goodbye to another excellent class.

Ours is a faith built on coming home. But sometimes, we can come home to a place we have never been. After all, home is where the heart is. Home is where you belong. Home is where God puts you.

The very first homecoming in the Scripture comes when God calls Abram out of Ur to go to the promised land. Now, Abraham has never actually been there, but God tells him that it is a land flowing with milk and honey, that it is the land that God created for him, and that it is the land of promise; and so, Abram starts his homecoming to the land of Canaan.

I bet Abram had no idea his journey would be so long or change so many lives, but when the Lord called him home, he answered that call and started the journey, taking his wife, nephew, and his entire household with him. In one sense, they were going to a new land, but in the greater sense, they were going home to God.

Scripture is filled with homecomings. You could say our faith is about coming home after humanities fall. Some prominent examples include: Moses leading the sons of Israel home after Egypt, David coming home after the death of Saul, Jehoash coming home to restore the Davidic Monarchy, Jeremiah coming home to warn the people of God to repent, and so many more. The biggest coming home in the Old Testament is certainly the coming home to Israel after years of exile in Babylon.

The homecomings continue in the New Testament, with the surprise that Christ comes home to live in the world that He created. Mary and Joseph return home for the birth, Peter returns home so his mother-in-law can be healed, and the disciples return home to Emmaus and see the risen Lord.

Our faith is one of coming home. We are called to be people who return – even when it is difficult. We are called home, home to Christ, home to old relationships made new, home to forgiveness and reconciliation, home to knowing that we all belong to Christ.

Every time we repent, we return home to God again, saying, “Lord, I have strayed. Thank you for letting me return to your grace and care.” Every time we forgive a brother or sister in Christ’s name, we are coming home again. Every time we receive the grace of God, we are coming home again.

Of course, all of these homecomings pale in comparison to the great promise of our faith – when we will be called to the great homecoming. We are called to come home to a place we have never been, to the final resurrection, when all who believe will be called to the New Heaven and the New Earth. All of the old will have passed away, and yet, we will be called to our true home, to rest in God and to be at peace with all of God’s creation.

I believe all of our homecomings are just in preparation for the final Coming Home – a time when you will be united with your Creator, and the parts that have always been missing will be made whole again. That final homecoming will unite us with all those who have gone before, and all those yet to come.

It is the final amen of Scripture, when God brings all of God’s own together into the eternal home of salvation.

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