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Home(ward) Bound - by Charles Lewis


What comes up for you when you hear that word?

For many of us, it’s a sense of warmth and comfort. It’s a place where we belong and a place that we long for. It’s a place where we are loved.

Countless songs have been sung about it from J. Cole’s “I’ll be home for the holidays, so when you see me better holla at me. I gotta leave, wish that I could stay. But I’ll be home for the holidays.” (Home for the Holidays) to John Denver’s “Country roads take me home to the place where I belong. West Virginia. Mountain Mama. Take me home. Country Roads.” (Take Me Home, Country Roads)

You may be familiar with the famous Karate Kid meme

And we are all well acquainted with the cliché “home is where the heart is.”

Home is a desire that exists deep within the soul of every human being, because were made for it. And as we continue in a posture of celebration during this Eastertide, I am helped by being reminded that one of the most breathtaking truths of the resurrection is that if we have been united with Christ, then our deep soul longing for home will be met in glorious fashion when we arrive to the new heavens and new earth.

Revelation uses vivid imagery to describe our final destination. In Revelation 21, this new city is portrayed as having the glory of God. The great high walls are radiantly built with the likes of jasper, sapphire and emerald. The streets shimmer because they are of pure gold and look like transparent glass. The gates are made of wonderous pearls. This city has no need for sun or moon to shine on it because glory of God gives it light; the Lamb is its lamp.

It is of this glorious city that the Psalmist writes “For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.”

If that is true, then how blessed are we! That we won’t get to spend one day in his courts, but an eternity. And we will not be doorkeepers, but we will be co-heirs with Christ because we have been made family bound by the blood of Christ. Our sins are forgiven. We belong and we are loved.

In John 14, Jesus tells his disciples: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

In Christ Jesus, a space has been made for you to occupy for all eternity. Christ has made such a space for you and for you specifically where you get to dwell with God forever. You have a seat at the table at the marriage supper of the lamb where pain and suffering is no more because He has wiped every tear and death has been defeated.

We’ll laugh and tell stories about God’s faithfulness in his presence. We’ll feast together on the best delicacies from thousands of cultures spanning centuries.

We’ll empathize and feel each other on a soul level unlike anything we’ve experienced before as we fill our cups with more wine.

We will sing songs of praise, worshipping our bridegroom for who he is, what he has done and his perfect love for us.

We will rest with the deepest sense of “I belong here” not for anything we have done, but for what Christ had done. To be sure, only the work of Christ could really give rest to our souls.

And Jesus will remain seated on his throne, crowned Lord of All. It will all exist for his good and infinite pleasure – a good and infinite pleasure he invites us to partake in.

I love how Colossians describes the rule of King Jesus…”He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”

Jesus’ rule and reign is marked by the peace he infuses into every iota of earth and heaven by the blood of his cross! It’s this Christ Jesus that we will get to be with. We get be with the creator of all things. We get to be with the one who holds all things together.

And, we get to be with him now as we’re told in the final words of Matthew “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Friends, during this season of COVI19 we are homebound. Quite literally. We can leave the house to go on runs, walks and bike rides. But for all intents and purposes, we are living by the mantra “Stay At Home.”

We may feel bound. We may feel like our freedom is being infringed upon. But it is my hope and prayer that in these plentiful moments of being at home, we will get to meet with Jesus who promises his presence. That we will meditate on his deep, deep love for us and that we will experience communion with him.

And as we experience the freedom we have in him, may our appetites for our eternal home grow more and more.

“O the deep, deep love of Jesus! Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free. Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me. Underneath me, all around me, is the current of thy love! Leading onward, leading homeward, to thy glorious rest above.”

Charles Lewis is a pastoral resident at the Northside Church of Richmond and has been with the church since August 2019. He is currently finishing his Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary and plans to be ordained in the Presbyterian Church in America. In his free time he enjoys keeping up with Philadelphia sports, listening to vinyl records and hanging out at breweries and coffee shops.


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