Longing for Home
I have always been something of a homebody. Not in the traditional sense of preferring to stay “at home” rather than going out with friends or family, but in the sense that I always long to live in a places where I nestle in and find, “my people.”
Home not just as a building but a place to belong — a place to be from and a place to go to.
What a powerful longing “home” is in the human heart. Whether you are a natural homebody like me or are simply grateful to have a roof over your head, home is that place that we promise ourselves we can go to at the end of a long day. It is place we build a life with family, a literal and figurative shelter in the storm.
And yet what an elusive thing it can be to find and keep a home. We move from one home to another; our family circumstances change; over the years the old neighborhood just isn’t the same anymore.
There are also a growing number of families in our community that for one reason or another find themselves literally homeless — without a roof over their head.
Many of these families are homeless for the first time due to job loss or health circumstances outside of their control, or because they simply cannot find affordable housing. An estimated 12 million renter and homeowner households now pay more then 50 percent of their annual incomes for housing, and a family with one full-time worker earning the minimum wage cannot afford the local fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States.
This Saturday a group of families from Pinnacle will be going down to the United Methodist Outreach Ministry, a place that provides emergency and longer term housing and care for families who find themselves without a home, to help assist with preparation and serving of brunch.
It is not much, but it is important.
We are serving brunch not just as a way to “give back” or as a community service opportunity, but as an essential part of following Christ. As people of faith we are called beyond our own needs and concerns into the lives of others. Justice, kindness, and humbly walking in faith are how God calls us to be in the world.
Everyone has been given gifts for the common good. Our job is to discover how in any given situation we might use those gifts. Each time we give away our gifts the experience changes how we live. Giving ourselves away in the name of Jesus reshapes us.
"A wandering Armeian was my father..." That's how the story of the people Israel begins in the book of Deuteronomy, and it is the story that every Hebrew learned to repeat when presenting the "first fruits" of what they produced to God. No matter where they were — Babylon, Egypt, Jerusalem — their one true home was always with God. We, you and me, no matter where we live or grew up or go home to at the end of the day, are all essentially a homeless people. God is where we came from and God is where we are going, anywhere we end up along the way is just a temporary spot.
So along the way we serve the God who feeds, shelters, and clothes each us of by doing some of this ourselves, remembering that it is God who provides for us all — and who is our true and only home.