“When There’s No Place Like Home”
Pastor David Moore
New Testament reading: 2 Corinthians 5:1-10
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Therefore, we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
I feel like I’ve never had a home, you know? I feel related to the country, to this country, and yet I don’t know exactly where I fit in… There’s always this kind of nostalgia for a place, a place where you can reckon with yourself. ~Sam Shepherd
Theme: The bigger picture is that nowhere on this earth is actually our home. We are all exiles, whether we live in the house we grew up in or not. Let’s learn about the Israelites during the time of exile and how that is similar to our walk as Christians in this world. ~D. Moore
Old Testament reading: Jeremiah 31:10-17
“Hear the word of the Lord, O nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands: ‘He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.’ For the Lord will ransom Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they. They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the Lord—the grain, the new wine and oil, the young of the flocks and the herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more. Then maidens will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. I will satisfy the priests with abundance, and my people will be filled with my bounty,” declares the Lord.
This is what the Lord says:
“A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more.”
This is what the Lord says:
“Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,” declares the Lord. “They will return from the land of the enemy. So there is hope for your future,” declares the Lord. “Your children will return to their own land.”
In spite of the exile, God gives the people a hopeful message through Jeremiah. God in the Old Testament is referring to ultimate exile of a life without God. Ezekiel 36: 26
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
The Bible is clear that we have lost our home, though our own poor decisions. We have chosen to be our own boss, our own lord and because of that we are in exile. ~D. Moore
What we long for is love that lasts, beauty that lasts, something we do well will last—but on earth nothing lasts.
Psalm 90:1, 2
Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
God is the home we are missing that we long for. God is the home we somehow remember. God is the home we want to return to.
So why don’t you feel at home? The only possible explanation is your real home is somewhere else. Longing for home is good and right. ~D. Moore
In our life our sin keeps us in exile from God. Jesus took those sins for all of mankind so that we would not be exiled in eternity.
In our earthly life we will sense an echo of our heavenly home, through moments in our earthly life, marriage, birth of a child, watching God work in our lives and the appreciation of blessings bestowed upon us.
This is all possible because of the new covenant in Jesus. Jeremiah proclaimed this to the exiled nation of Israel. That the new covenant has arrived to all in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
“My home is in heaven. I’m just traveling through this world.” ~Billy Graham
God bless you all as you are participants in God’s great plan for this world.