This blog post is being written directly on the heals of the 10 members of the First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs (and that number is likely about to climb), and and subsequent to the loss of the 342 (and that number is also likely to climb) homes of the members of the Colorado Springs community that have recently lost their homes in the Waldo Canyon Fires.
The concept of - "Home" is a fundamental human need and concern. The number of cliche's and pithy aphorisms that surround the medium of "home" are endless. To list a couple of well worn ones; "home is where the heart is," "home is where you hang your hat," "hearth and home," "home sweet home," "home, home on the range," (maybe that one is a bridge too far). And yet, even though these concepts have become cliches, we all recognize home as a place of great significance in our lives. Home is more than a house, it is a place of mooring and hermitage. Home is more than a place, or a space, it is a dream, and a returning, a memory, and a place to build memories.
The founding fathers of our country, we should hasten to add on this fourth of July weekend, had originally allotted the primary three fundamental freedoms as not, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," but, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of property." The basic concept, smelted from the embers of the great enlightenment, were that human beings needed property in order to have a core sense of self.
Jesus also recognized the concept of home. Jesus' true childhood house (we should distinguish the word house from the word home at this point) was in Nazareth. But, as the Bible tells us, Nazareth was not a home, as Jesus was very much a prophet "without honor," there - he was not welcome. Jesus' real home was the tiny little hovel of Peter and Andrew's mother-in-law's house in Capernaum. Jesus loved that place! He returned to it again and again and again in his life. He performed one of his first miracles in that home, healing Peter's mother-in-law. And just after that, Jesus healed hundreds of broken people, well into the night in Capernaum, from that home's front porch. When Jesus was resurrected from the dead, on the third day, the Bible tells us that Jesus revealed himself to the women in the garden, and then, he bee-lined it to Galilee (I assume to Peter's mother-in-law's house in Capernaum) to be back in his - home.
So, what can we say to those who have lost homes this past week, here in Colorado Springs. First, that we are very, very sorry that you have to go through this terrible time. No words will be able to replace or even comfort that lost reality in your life. Second, God did not cause these fires, and God has not caused your home to burn down because of anything you did in your life. Terrible occurrences just happen in this life, as Jesus reminds us, when he says, "The sun shines on the just and the unjust and the rain falls on the just and the unjust." Most important, remember, that home is not a place, or a space, but it is a concept, it is a dream, it is a conscious state of mind. Though you may have lost a place that functioned as a "home" for you, and I do not want to even begin to dimish the significance of that place, - "home" is actually much bigger than that.
Home is Camelot! And Camelot is a dream, that is a reality, and yet it is ineffable!
I am praying with you, whatever "home" is for you, and however it may have been singed or burned. I am praying that God will moor you once again to his real home - which is eternal - and with us in this time and place.
All For Now,