Home=”a familiar or usual setting.”; “a place of origin”; At home=”relaxed and comfortable: at ease” “in harmony with the surroundings.” or “on familiar ground.”
“Home is more than just a place. It is a promise (A Place to Land; Kate Motaung).”
Scripture tells us that where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Treasure often comes in all shapes and sizes in our lives. For me, that treasure comes in my friends and family, in community and in so many ways. These treasures represent home to me; a home that is more than just a place where I lay my head at night. Home is Ashley ND. Home is the places where I have served; Williston ND, Minot ND, Dilworth MN and Beulah ND. Home is the place where I found myself as a leader in the church and where I grew in my faith. Home is Wartburg Theological Seminary.
I knew immediately upon waking up this morning that today is March 13th. 365 days ago we stood in a sanctuary in Taylor Wisconsin and said goodbye to our beloved Ben. I find myself standing in the reality of grief once again. At times, it feels so raw while at other times, that year feels so long ago. And in the reality of grief, I am once again standing upon that Lenten weary road of grief; a road that never seems to end.
As we stood in that sanctuary speaking these words, I couldn’t help but take in the moment and remember the beauty of that day as we shared in it together. The words of Ash Wednesday replaying in my head and my heart “Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return” as we commended Ben to God’s care.
“We commend your servant Ben to your care; a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming, Receive him into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace and into the glorious company of the saints in light (ELW P. 283).”
Today my friends I am homesick. Homesick for a community that shares in life’s ups and downs. Homesick for my friends who I don’t get to see nearly enough. Homesick for a friend who is reunited with Jesus. Homesick for a feeling when the grief was not there. Yet I know in my homesickness, that we all are loved; loved by a God who calls us each by name.
In our homesickness, we know that God calls us all back home eventually. This morning, I was listening to my Pandora station when the song “Church (Take me Back)” by Cochren and Co came on. As I listened to the chorus to this song, tears began to trickle down my face. It was not lost on me that the music was speaking to this anniversary of Ben’s funeral.
“Take me back; To the place that feels like home; To the people I can depend on; To the faith that’s in my bones; Take me back; To a preacher and a verse; Where they’ve seen me at my worst; To the love I had at first; Oh, I want to go to church.” (Cochren and Co)
Wartburg Seminary feels like home. Wartburg Seminary holds the people I can depend on. Wartburg Seminary shows me constantly the faith that’s in my bones. And most of all, Wartburg Seminary has seen me at my best and at my worst. It is a community that forever is home to me. It is a place that shows me that even in grief, we do not walk this journey alone. We walk it hand in hand remembering that God calls us all to eternal life.
Today though, as I am reminded of 365 days ago, I am homesick; wishing we could all be together. Yet I know that the ultimate home; our heavenly home is where Ben is now. However, it aches to lose those on earth. We want them still here with us. So we must trust in God’s promise to us all. Our earthly homes are temporary but our eternal home; our heavenly home is forever!
Linking up with Kelly and the Ra Ra linkup, Mary and Tell His Story, Sue and Let’s Have Coffee and Kristin and Porch Stories.