“It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realized what’s changed is you.”-F. Scott Fitzgerald
We’re gathering under the theme of “Coming Home” for Lent – both on Sundays and on Thursdays. Coming home is what we talk about when we’re coming home from school, or college or vocational school, or when we’re coming back to visit parents after we’ve moved away. Home can be a variety of things, not just places. Home can be a feeling, or wherever your heart is. Home can be a physical place and space where once you’re in it, you know it is just right.
Jesus’ journey will take him to Jerusalem during the last week of this month. We call that week Holy Week and there Jesus enters triumphally sitting upon a colt or donkey with people strewing clothes and palm branches in his path shouting “Hosanna!” But by Thursday, Jesus is sharing a last meal with those he calls friends and followers. He knows that his hour has come for the Son of Man to be handed over for arrest, trial, and crucifixion. Good Friday marks the day we remember that Jesus dies on a cross not only for us but for the whole world. His body is laid in a tomb that ultimately will not, cannot, hold him. On the third day, he rises to be with God and to prove that truly love does win.
Resurrection dawn, resurrection joy, resurrection hope- that is the place where we call home. It is the place that Psalm 23 speaks of when it refers to us dwelling in the house of the Lord our whole life long; it is also the place in John 14 where Jesus speaks of when he talks about going to prepare places and spaces for us so that where he is we will be also. This month as we journey toward Easter, we are coming home. But as F. Scott Fitzgerald says above, maybe home is all the same and it is us who have changed. Lent changes us. Lent forms us into reflective, confessional people who take up their cross to follow Jesus. Lent calls us to the cross with Jesus where, as we behold him upon it, the whole world changes.
Welcome home this month, Church. Thank you for doing the hard work of journeying with us through life and faith. Thank you for fasting, almsgiving, and doing works of mercy and charity. Thank you for singing, for praying, and for walking this journey not just yourself, but together as community. Together, we are changed by and through love; together, we come home ready to continue reflecting God’s light through love and service.
Coming home with you,
Pastor Travis Wilson