Don’t it make you wanna go home, now?
Don’t it make you wanna go home?
All God’s children get weary when they roamJoe South
Friends in Christ,
During college and for years thereafter I sang this song with friends before leaving the dorm, the apartment, or even some long, faraway trips, right before returning to my parents. Home is precious to almost all of us. You’ve heard me quote the scholar Amy-Jill Levine about how much of the Bible is the quest and “the effort, after dislocation, to find or make a home.” It is our story at NHCC, too.
On June 20, God willing, we’ll get to go home to our sanctuary, while remaining online for those not ready for the room, or at a distance where they can remain connected.
But it won’t be exactly the same home we left on some levels. For one thing, we’ve lost beloved members of our household. For another, we are changed by this year. And, in scripture, the new home is always a little different from the one that we left.
Also in scripture, we have to change to find new life. And God is constantly calling us to new life.
One professional says that when we re-enter our sanctuaries we should all treat one another as newcomers. Not pretend we don’t know each other or don’t have a history. But treat one another with love and care and openness—none of us know exactly what each of us has been through this year. Plus all of us have not only a past, but a future, even together. So we seek what Zen calls beginner’s mind. The same way Jesus taught.
Another professional says we may have arguments when we get back together. Hard times don’t affect everyone the same. Trying new things doesn’t fit everyone the same. In scripture God’s new thing (as in Isaiah) creates challenge and even conflict. But it brings joy and power, too.
So, soon, we get to go home. Even though we are changed. And NHCC is changed. And there is more change to come.
To ask the questions we did in 2013, what would be hard to let go from the past? What would be easy to let go? What would be wrong to lose? And, “What is God up to now, and how do we get on board?”
Our answers together are what inspire us to plant Seeds of Hope—our Stewardship campaign. Because just as in 2020 we can’t predict the future in 2021 or 2022. But we can enter it together, back home, and together get on board with God.
See you soon, in worship.