This Sunday as the world recognizes Mother’s Day, we in the United Methodist Church will also celebrate the Festival of the Christian Home. While home has traditionally been associated with mothering, that’s not always true for everyone. Just like homes families come in many varieties, and so we lift up nurturing units of caring in their many forms. At the same time, we also celebrate the greater sense of home we find in our relationship with God.
Under the current pandemic most people are living under stay at home orders. This, of course, raises myriad questions and concerns for those who have no home, those for whom home is not a safe place, and even those whose homes don’t provide much privacy and separation for entire families or groups of roommates now home 24/7. Even for those with more preferable living situations, home can over time feel less like a haven and more like a place we’re trapped.
When talking about the Christian home at its core, however, we’re not speaking of a physical space or address but rather a spiritual place where our souls are in touch with God. While we might associate those moments and opportunities with certain corporeal settings, we’re instead identifying something ethereal, something less tangible, something spiritual. As the saying goes, “Home is where the heart is.” That’s neither here nor there, it’s within you.
I recall the response a colleague of mine once made in describing his spiritual home. He first wrote about finding God in the beauty of creation, but then went on to say, “the place I feel most connected to God and have experienced growth in my faith has been in the presence of those I have met along the way.” We meet God in the midst creation, and in connection with one another. In other words, the heart of Christian home is about relationship.
Home is neither here nor there. The Christian home is not about a house, or an apartment, or an RV, or the couch in someone’s spare room, or a car, or a cardboard box or shelter. The Christian home lies within, or is nowhere at all. In this time of separation and isolation we’ve needed to be more intentional in order to maintain relationships with one another. We also need to be more intentional about our relationships with God, or home is nowhere at all.
Peace for the journey,