There was a man. An ordinary man. He had a lovely wife. They shared a home. They had moved house seven times. Work, you see. Work had required different places and different houses. Their children had been born and raised as they moved from one house to the next, one place to the next. But they had only ever had one home. Just one home no matter the house or the location.
As happens in all families, their children grew-up. As happens in some, the children moved out to their own rooms then flats then houses that they called home. Along the way some married. And some had children. It happens in many families the world over.
Yet this man and his wife were still home to their children. The children only had one family home – no matter the house or the location. Home was mum and dad, and mum and dad was home. Their own house was their own home. But mum and dad was home.
I discovered that with my own parents. They moved the entire length of the country late in life. And their home moved with them. The house home and location I had grown-up in became not-home when mum and dad moved. Their new house home was a flat. But it was home. Mum and Dad were home.
Church makes being a House of God its reason for being. And then counters that with “but church is the people”. I think church has missed something. I think it is missing the word “home”. The home of God doesn’t come with a capital “H”. Home isn’t “Home”. Home is always just home. Home is a place of safety. A house not necessarily. Home is place where all are drawn to and together. A house not necessarily. The home of God is where dad and mum live. And wherever that is – is home.
Dad and mum live within me. And now I have accepted my home is their home, I am always at home. So I am always safe. I am always drawn to be together with my family. I am my family. And so are you.
When two or three are gathered together in my name … we are all at home. But I have found that me and dad make two – sometimes three – sometimes loud – sometimes soft – sometimes a party – sometimes not. I am at home and we are always “gathered together”.
I cannot look at a church building anymore and see a home. But I can look at you and see my home.