I wonder what “Coming home” means to you. For me, it’s always a good feeling. However much I’ve enjoyed whatever I’ve been doing away from home, it’s good to be coming back to my own environment, to home comforts like a favourite chair perhaps, to family, to friends, to Fakenham. Coming home is returning to the warmth of my comfort zone where I can properly relax.
Home is the source of love and care, but it can also be the place where tensions arise, arguments flare and hurt is inflicted. No two people are the same so there are bound to be differences of opinion or tensions. What matters is how we handle them. Working through them and coming to a resolution is another way of coming home.
Amongst a host of stories beginning: “The Kingdom of God is like…” Jesus told a story about coming home. (You can read it in Luke’s gospel, chapter 15, verses 11-32.) It begins with a going away. The younger son of a family asks for his share of his inheritance and then goes away to make his own life. Frittering his money he ends up friendless, destitute, hungry, looking after pigs. Thoughts of home provide his only warmth but he’s “burned his boats” there. Realising that his father’s employees are much better treated than he currently is he resolves to head home to seek employment as his father’s lowest servant.
Coming home, penitent and miserable, his father rushes out to meet him, welcome him, clothe him lavishly, prepare a celebratory feast, love and care for him. The youngster is overwhelmed with this undeserved reception. His brother is overwhelmed with jealousy! The father has to resolve the tensions between his sons. The Kingdom of God is like the place to which we can come home and be welcomed, feted, loved, whatever we’ve done. If we choose to seek God, he will welcome us, help us resolve any tensions and provide the best “comfort zone” we can imagine.
Now there’s an opportunity that I, for one, can’t refuse.