“Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” is my favorite Thanksgiving movie. Steve Martin and John Candy play two business people facing weather delays and all manner of obstacle in their desperate effort to get back home in time from the holiday.
During the holiday season, most of us are just trying to get back home. That’s how it’s always been, especially for people of faith. The journey of faith is a journey towards home. The question, though, is this: What is our home?
Isaiah came to the exiles, the Israelites who had been dragged from their homes in Jerusalem and transported like cattle all the way to Babylon as slaves and prisoners. Isaiah came to those people to tell them that they were going to go home. God gave Isaiah the words to say: “Here is your God” (Isaiah 40:9). That’s it – “Here is your God.” Those are the only words necessary because if God is there, then you’re home. That’s how Isaiah answered that question.
When I was five years old, I ran away from home. We had just moved to a new town and I missed my friends, so I ran away from home. Mom helped me pack. She even walked with me as I left the house and went on my way. She sat with me when I got scared and tired after walking about a block. And when I decided to come back home, she carried me most of the way back.
I ran away from home. But did I really? No, because Mom was always there. Mom was my home. This is just like Isaiah describes God:
“He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep”
If we make God our home then we can be at home anywhere; on the road, at work, at school, in snowstorms, in airport terminals, in times of distress, at moments of celebration. Anywhere and anytime, God can make us feel at home. Are you ready to come back home?
Your friend and fellow minister,
Rev. Steve Savides