Home is born within us. As a son or daughter, grandson or granddaughter, sibling and cousin, as a friend, then as a spouse and parent, we come to know more and more what it is to have a home…not because of where we’ve lived, but because of who we’ve loved.
As time passes, seasons of life come and go, and lessons are learned, we come to know more and more what it is to move out of ourselves, to commit to others, to sacrifice, to trust, to embrace, to risk, to love. Such is the movement of home.
We carry it with us when we’re away, thinking of those who make our home, working for them, sacrificing, longing, and learning to trust that they will always be our home, and we theirs. We anticipate as the time draws near for us to return to them, even at the end of a workday as we drive to the house we share.
We rejoice to enter and find our family. We rejoice to remember all we have shared with our loved ones, those who have shown us and built with us the home that we know. Not physical, for that comes and goes from structure to structure. But love, love is home. All that goes into home is all that goes into love—other, sacrifice, work, longing, trusting, returning with anticipation. Home.
Such is God’s kingdom born within us. We learn of it as a child of God, a sibling of and joint-heir with Christ, a Spirit-filled lover of God, a family member in God’s household--bride, body, beloved...not because of where we've lived, but because of the One who loves us.
It draws nearer as time passes, through seasons of life and lessons learned. The kingdom draws nearer as we draw nearer to the King…as the earth receives the kingdom and anticipates the return of the King. The process of redemption--our redemption and the redemption of all creation--reveals what it is to live in the kingdom.
We carry it with us, this kingdom, and it fills us with purpose while we are away from the King (though, of course, we are not truly away, and that is the mystery and the message). The kingdom is inside us as home is inside us, driving us to work and to sacrifice and to long and to trust. The kingdom seems stronger—more present—as we anticipate and draw near to the King. He is there among two or three gathered, among the least, at the Table, within those who faithfully love. He comes—with the Father in the powerful love of the Spirit—and makes his dwelling, his kingdom, within the lover.
So, as we draw near in a daily life of worship, in service to another, in quiet moments of adoration, and finally in death, we anticipate the warming fires of home, the familiar voice calling us lovingly by name, love itself washing over us and holding us safe and assuring us.
The kingdom is where the King is. Home is where Love is. All are inside us and nothing can take them from us or stop their progress in enveloping us in the embrace of the One who is all—King, Home, Love—and whose likeness we bear more and more clearly and faithfully day after day, season after season, through life and lessons learned. And so, in the end, we find that we have somehow been home all along, and we have become home along the way.