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Sunday, 16 December 2012

Homeward bound

There was a film once about a couple of dogs and a cat that travel across America in search of their rightful owners.  Then there was the song Homeward bound by Simon & Garfunkel.  Great band by the way - absolutely love their sound.  Can't you just hear the song playing in your head?
Homeward bound - I wish I was
Homeward bound
Home, where my thought's escaping
Home, where my music's playing
Home, where my love lies waiting
Silently for me

When Alan and I think about this phrase suddenly there is some confusion in our minds. 

Where's home?

Yesterday we arrived home after nearly a month in Georgia.  But Georgia is a place I will forever call home as well.  Then Thursday we leave Germany to go to Alan's "home" in England.  Technically both our physical houses in Georgia and England are being rented and we have to stay with our parents whenever we visit but in our minds consider those places and to now a bigger extent, Germany - home. 

What about other missionaries? 

I think of people that go to France, Chile, South Africa or the Middle East on mission.  They sign up for 1, 3 or 5 years as an example.  While there, they think about, miss and dream about going "home".  Some visit more frequently, others stay on the field for the entirety of their commission and then take 6 months to relax, raise additional funds or consider pursuing other opportunities.  They have come to do a job and when that's finished they will return, home. 

So what about Alan and me? 

We never came to Germany with a 3 or 5 or 10 year plan.  There was never in our mind, "ok in this amount of time we'll be done and we can go home." There was just, "this is where Gods calling us to go and we have no idea for how long but it could be forever." sort of conversations.  Still now when we visit our homes people say they are secretly praying we'll come back or they ask us how long we intend to stay to do our work.  Even the Germans we work with probably believe we'll be leaving at any time although we have made no hint of leaving any time soon. 


When I think about home, I think about Georgia, Germany, sometimes England but more and more lately I've been thinking about heaven. 

I thought about Heaven when my friend Brennen lost her twin girls and they are now waiting for their mom and dad there.  I thought about Heaven when my mom started one of our first conversations last month with, "when I die you need to know that I do not want to have my memorial service in a gymnasium!" lol.  I thought about Heaven when those precious, precious babies were murdered by a lunatic in Connecticut last week.  I thought and still think about their precious mommas who are mourning them now and will mourn probably until the day they die

Heaven.  Home.  Homeward bound.  We are all homeward bound if we are followers of Christ and we all long for the day when all suffering and sadness and tears will be wiped away by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  God alone will provide justice for all the wrongs committed on this earth.  He alone will decide when Jesus will return - not the Mayans or any other nut.  I was reading I Peter chapter 4 this morning and it so encouraged me.  I hope it will encourage you as well.

From Bible Gateway, NIV
4 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Suffering for Being a Christian

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And,
“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”[a]

19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

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