When I was between my freshman and sophomore years of high school, I spent a week at camp in Montana. During the time I was away from Minnesota, my parents had packed up our household sent everything on ahead to New York, where my dad was taking a new job. While I knew this was happening (it would be pretty cruel to play a joke like that!), it was still hard not to come back “home” after being away. Then during my freshman year in college, my parents did it again and moved from my high school “home” in New York and back to Minnesota once more.
This moving around of “home” was actually the one constant of my whole childhood. I know there are others with similar stories from their upbringing. Military families are particularly familiar with this phenomenon. Then, there are the people I know whose “home” has remained remarkably stable over much of their lives. Just the other day I met someone who, at 67, lives in the same house he was raised in here in Roseville. Yes, he did spend a few years away here and there, but those places were never “home” like the house his parents built and left to him.
When life seems unsettled and uncertain, returning “home” is an appealing thought. There is comfort to be found in the familiar. I recall how often a colleague and friend talks about the need to go back to the farm where she grew up as a form of holy therapy for the times in life when things get particularly rotten. This theology of “home” suggests that there is a place where God might just be made most plain to us.
In Luke’s story of the road to Emmaus, I wonder if the two Jesus followers weren’t actually headed “home.” The last week in Jerusalem had certainly been quite a rollercoaster ride and the latest news of an empty tomb and a missing body were much to make sense of. Going “home” to Emmaus might just give these two a chance to catch their breaths and get their minds cleared.
But even before getting there, God enters back into the story. The unrecognized Jesus walks with them, helping them process all that has happened, from the very beginning. Finally, at “home” then, another meal is shared, and their eyes are opened. Vision is restored and the mission is made clear. The call to keep moving is answered. It was holy therapy indeed.
Today, think about the places that you have called “home” in your life. Are these the places where God has been made most plain to you? If you needed to return “home” today, where would you go? Lastly, once restored, refocused or re-energized, where do you think God might need you to go next?
May God’s peace come to you this day. -Pastor Peter
Let us pray:
God of mercy, we no longer look for Jesus among the dead, for he is alive and has become the Lord of life. Increase in our minds and hearts the risen life we share with Christ, and help us to grow as your people toward the fullness of eternal life with you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.