Lord, you have been our dwelling place through all generations.
Psalm 90: 1
I was back home on the Northside of Chicago for a week, in Glenview, the town where I grew up. My mom had a knee replacement and then was transferred to a rehabilitation center. I needed to be there for her. I took Mom to the hospital, which is right next door to my old high school. Seeing the classroom windows, ball fields, track, football standards, bleachers, tennis courts and gymnasium brought back a flood of memories – happy times, friendships, family struggles, regrets, joys, victories and defeats. Each day I drove past my old neighborhood, parks we played in, bridges we jumped off, the river we explored, railroad tracks and old bike paths we traversed. I was back home, but was it my true home?
We all have homes or have had homes – what ideas do we associate with home, the dwelling-place to which we naturally belong? First of all, protection. A little child feels sure of protection in their own home; there are people there who would die rather than let them come to harm. Then there is provision; we are provided for. A sense of peace, of familiar surroundings, of being at home. There is also a sense of enjoyment, a sense of love and gladness that make a joy-filled place. We need this, and, in a measure, it comes to us in our own homes, but they may pass away. We also need our true home; the Lord must be our dwelling-place.
As believers, our home is in the heart of God. His love, salvation and grace have been offered freely, through the sacrifice of his son, Jesus Christ. I came home to Him when I was eight years old and first believed that Jesus died for my sins, for my forgiveness and salvation. All throughout my life there have been new awakenings to God’s plan for me. I have had times of backsliding, rebellion, repentance and returning home again to God. I always found his open arms and loving welcome. In God, in Christ, I continue to become a man of God!
Lent brings us along the road of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection. In the story, Peter is one we encounter who denied he even knew Jesus. This was his own backsliding, but Jesus eventually restored him and Peter went on to fulfill God’s purpose for his life.
Have you come home to God? Have you matured in Christ and developed a faith that can move mountains? Maybe, maybe not, but it is a spiritual journey of joy and sorrow, of repentance and spiritual awakening. Why not start today; be reconciled to God and to others. This is what God has done for us through Jesus Christ! Make it a new day!
In Christ, Pastor Tim