Today I was told to write about the word “home.” My first thought was, “well, that is where the heart is.” But clichés aside I want to really think this through a little bit, so if you are reading I am going to give you my unfiltered and unedited thoughts this word evokes in my head.
There are probably as many varieties on what this word means as there are hair styles in the world. For some a home brings vivid thoughts racing through the mind. It is a place of stability and has been in the family for years. For some there is only one place they have ever called home while for others there have been so many variations of where home is and what it looks like that they really have no emotional attachment to any structure or building. There are some cases, like mine, where I have had two “homes” at a time for about as long as I can remember.
What makes a home a home? Is it simply a warm place to stay? Is it defined by the people who welcome you in when you arrive? Is it a place where memories are made?
I lived in a home with a couple of guys my last year of college. We were very intentional about calling it a home and not a house, because a house is just a building where people would come and go as they pleased, but a home was a sacred place; a home is where people could find rest and comfort; a home was where memories were made. As silly as that might sound we really did live by that. It was an odd arrangement. We were three guys who didn’t know each other well, but we all had a drive for hospitality in our own unique ways (and we had 6 bedrooms, so that made our house the place to be to stay the night). But we had the best mix of people come through. We had loud friends who would dance on the tables and we had the most reserved of people come in who would sit on our couches without saying more than necessary for it not to be awkward (which it was hard to make an awkward moment in our home). Our doors were never closed to anyone. Did that drive us crazy at times? Yes. But did we bond through it? You bet we did. There were so many personalities present that there were bound to be some doors slammed and some feelings hurt from time to time, but the mission of the home was so uniting that we didn’t have to get along at every moment in order to know that we were there with the same purpose.
It seems like a fairly good picture of what the church should look like. It is a group of people who welcome in all kinds of strange personalities. It is a place where people can find rest, hope, and love. And best of all it is a place where memories are made. Whenever there are people involved there are going to be hurt feelings and the proverbial or literal door slammed, however the church as described throughout the New Testament should be and will be a place where you would be able to find all the things present in a good home. Sometimes we just need to be reminded of our unifying mission and allow that to restore relationships that have been damaged, because there is something bigger we are living for rather than personal pride.