Dorothy had it right when she clicked her ruby slippers together and uttered those famous words “There’s no place like home!” Home to my favorite chair, my workshop, my coffee and my sweet wife! There’s something about home isn’t there? Nowhere else on earth where you feel the way you do there. Nowhere else on earth where you are treated quite the same way, but home! Nowhere else you can relax, be yourself and feel truly at home, but home!
My role in ministry takes me throughout the American Midwest each and every week to the average tune of over a thousand miles of drive time. The maps app on my IPhone is easily one of the most frequently used tools I have in my technological tool kit. There is one particularly phrase my phone utters late in the week after the meetings are finished and the SUV is loaded. I pull up the trusty maps app and type in the word Home and after the directions load I hit the green icon that says GO. It is then that the sweetest words I’ve heard all week ring out… “Starting route to home!”
C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity writes, “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.” Russell Wells has said that “the whole of life is going home.” It was Solomon who gave us the phrase, “Man goeth to his long home,” a journey that begins at birth, not death.
Peter wrote to us, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;” What does our spiritual passport say about our final destination?
Let’s look again at the word home for a minute since Dorothy so kindly brought it up. David in the Shepherds psalm closed the chapter with this thought, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Did you catch the word dwell? To dwell in this sense means literally, to be at home. Isn’t that great! The Shepherd is the Lord and if we know the Lord, when we finally get to our destination we will be at home. What a
comforting thought for those who have lost loved ones to death. Think of it, they’re at home! What a thought for us as Christ followers, when we get to heaven, we’ll feel just like we are at home!
So, where’s home for you? What destination does your life’s passport point you toward? I’m not just thinking in the temporary sense here. I don’t mean your address, or what you pay taxes on. But your real home, in eternity. Where you are headed when this life is done. In one of his lighter moments, Benjamin Franklin penned his own epitaph. It seems he must have been influenced by Paul’s teaching of the resurrection of the body. Here’s what he wrote: The Body of B. Franklin, Printer, Like the Cover of an old Book, Its contents torn out, And stript of its Lettering and Guilding, Lies here, Food for Worms, But the Work shall not be wholly lost: For it will, as he believ’d, Appear once more, In a new & more perfect Edition, Corrected and amended by the Author.
In Valladolid, Spain, where Christopher Columbus died in 1506, stands a monument commemorating the great discoverer. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the memorial is a statue of a lion destroying one of the Latin words that had been part of Spain’s motto for centuries. Before Columbus made his voyages, the Spaniards thought they had reached the outer limits of earth. Thus their motto was “Ne Plus Ultra,” which means “No More Beyond.” The word being torn away by the lion is “ne” or “no,” making it read “Plus Ultra.” Columbus had proven that there was indeed “more beyond.” What’s beyond for you and I in eternity will matter much.
Downloading directions to my Maps App at the end of a long week of travel is a very comforting thing for me to hear. More important for me will be the words I am longing to hear at the end of my road of life, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Are you headed home? According to Dorothy and the Bible, there’s no place like it!
Tim Throckmorton is the Midwest Regional Director for Church Ministries reach him at 740-935-1406