HOME SWEET HOME. Those three simple words engage the senses. They conjure up images of loved ones, the home place, your childhood tree swing. Perhaps you associate it with the smell of apple pie, your favorite birthday meal, or your mother’s perfume. Or maybe you can close your eyes and hear your father whistling while he’s working on the car. We want to fill our own homes with that same sense of belonging and rightness, so we intentionally create good memories for our own families: laughter around the dinner table, nightly devotionals, loving touches, and sweet traditions. Home is synonymous with comfort and security. When we’re away from it, we long for it. Not every earthly home is ideal, but many would agree that “there’s no place like home.”
Thank God for the home He provides for His family! He must want us to enjoy that same sense of love and security because He gives us a home to enjoy now and one to look forward to in eternity. When I close my eyes and think of my church family, I can’t help but recall warm hugs, precious memories, dear songs, and loving support. No matter where we live, we have a home made up of Christian family. What a blessing! I can’t imagine trying to get through this life without it. Jesus promises a heavenly home with our Father (John 14:1-3). This one will be big enough to accommodate all of our loved ones. There will be no goodbyes or sad memories (Rev. 21:3-4). It will be the ultimate Home Sweet Home.
As dear as home is, some choose to walk away from it. Whatever the reason for it (indifference, rebellion, sin), the absence is keenly felt by the Father and family. I ran across a song recently called, “You Can Always Come Home.” It is based on the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15. In that passage, Jesus tells a parable of a young man who chose to leave home to experience the world. He lived wildly and recklessly. He cared not for his reputation or his family name. But his new lifestyle brought no satisfaction. The thrill was short-lived as he found himself broken and alone. That’s when he thought of home and his wayward heart longed to return. This passage never gets old for me. My breath catches every time I read of his father running to meet him. His father didn’t say, “You made your bed; now you have to lie in it.” He didn’t say, “What do you have to say for yourself?!” He most certainly didn’t say, “I don’t know you,” or “You’re no son of mine.” Instead, every action on his part said, “Welcome home, my son.”
I have loved ones who have wandered away. I pray they will long for home and make the journey back, regardless of time or distance. As the song pleads, “Remember, you can always come home.”
My own heart has struggled with seasons of waywardness. May I always be drawn to the real love and security offered by my Father. May HOME remain my favorite place to be.