“On our way home”
In the fall of 1943, WWII was in full swing with Allied forces battling across most of the world. The worst of the fighting was yet to come, but the pain of war was palpable, then Bing Crosby famously crooned, “I’ll be home for Christmas.” Sung from the perspective of someone stationed far from home, absent the safety and security it affords. It was a hit mainly because so many people wanted their loved ones home rather than fighting a distant war where death seemed imminent.
A desire to be home is innate and harks back to our tribal mentality. Penned the same year as Crosby’s hit, Abraham Maslow introduced the world to the hierarchy of needs. The most basic set, psychological needs, encompasses shelter, food, water, and homeostasis; it is home. Having no home damages our psyche and causes discomfort on a multitude of levels.
Today’s text from Ezekiel is a call to a people displaced from their home & land, and separated from God’s covenant, but who now were being beckoned back. The homeless, godless refugees previously cast out of their land would return home and would once again be the people of God, blessed to be a blessing, with a fleshy heart of mercy, love, and peace. It is also a call for those of us awaiting the Second Advent, Christ’s triumphant return, to do more than simply wait. As Christians we must welcome home the homeless, the refugee, the displaced human having the same basic needs we do. We must show the world we are people who welcome others home.
O Holy and Merciful God, we thank you for your call to our lives as people of a covenant. We thank you for your call to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Open our eyes that we may see and open our hearts that we may love those in our midst who are without home. Alter our minds that we may seek agreement rather than disdain for others, and use us to be those who seek shelter for all humanity. In the name of the Triune God, amen.
Rev. Mark Boyd is a Minister of Word and Sacrament in PC(USA)
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