Hi - In the last 6 weeks I've been gone more than here. Workcamp took me to NY with the youth, then to South Carolina for a family reunion (read more below). A week at church and I was off to Minnesota and Wisconsin for a friend's wedding and to soak in the lake country at my parents' cabin. Wrapped it up with a conference on young clergy leadership. I'm back now, and back to blogging.
At the leadership conference, an ice-breaker was "what would be the title of your autobiography." Mine would be something about home. Coming home, being at home, feels like home. I love the prodigal son, coming home.
When I was in the Peace Corps, my father sent me a tape of his barbershop quartet singing "Softly and Tenderly Jesus is calling...ye who are weary come home." I wanted to come home often, but home came to me.
I wrestle with the theme of home because I've had lots of them, and in having lots of them, I've risked having none.
It used to be that when I was home in MN, I felt restless and torn between wanting to be there and wanting to flee. I think it's because I didn't have a home of my own. But God gave me a home, or at least a sense of place in the world. That helps me be at home everywhere, even at home:
4425 in Robbinsdale, where my folks have lived since I was 9 mos old; their cabin in the lake country of MN; skipping rocks with my nephew; meeting up with the sibs for happy hour; joy at celebrating a best friend's wedding; fireworks on an old neighbor's lawn; welcoming an old friend's new daughter into the world; church at Peace Lutheran, Mo synod. This life is rich. And I know home.
As I biked around on my last day before getting back to the office, reacquainting myself with my home in Maryland, I was overcome with gratitude for all of these homes.
The first day back at church, someone in need of help paying the rent came to my office. In that week 3 different people contacted our church in need of housing help. People in our midst are in the swing of such difficult transitions that home feels far away.
There's a bumper sticker that advocates for the homeless often sport that reads "Jesus was homeless." There's a contrasting sentiment that Jesus had homes everywhere. Probably what he had was a sense of home, of place, of family, of belonging, that followed him everywhere and allowed him to make a home wherever he was.
People need homes. Physical, spiritual, emotional. Homes.
Softly and Tenderly Jesus is calling. Calling oh sinner, come home.
Ten for Ten. Ten reasons it's great to be a pastor, in celebration of my 10 year anniversary of ordination.
I'm in there somewhere. I was ordained at Luther Place Memorial Church in Washington DC on November 10, 2007, ten years ago today. ...
Ten for Ten. Ten reasons it's great to be a pastor, in celebration of my 10 year anniversary of ordination.I'm in there somewhere. I was ordained at Luther Place Memorial Church in Washington DC on November 10, 2007, ten years ago today. ...
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On Ash Wednesday I talked about the discipline of Lent . Discipline comes from a word meaning "pupil." A discipline helps you...